- 1. ASPCA Job of the Week
- 2. ASPCA Pet of the Week: This Spud’s for You!
- 3. Top 10 Pet Poisons of 2008
- 4. Two New Yorkers Arrested for Starving Their Dogs
- 5. NYC Adoption Success Story: La Femme Nikita
- 6. Expert Advice: Coping with Pet Loss Over the Holidays
1. ASPCA Job of the Week
The ASPCA is looking for a Community Initiatives Manager to help increase live release rates and distribute grant funds in one of our ASPCA® Mission: Orange™ target communities. This position will also provide shelter outreach in the Northeast regionincluding CT, DC, DE, MA, ME, MD, NJ, NH, NY, RI and VTand foster communication between humane organizations, animal shelters and grassroots groups. If you’re an exceptional communicator with at least five years’ experience in animal care and control, you could be the one!
This position requires working remotely from a home office in the Northeast region as well as frequent travel. The ASPCA offers generous benefit packages for full-time employees. Please submit your resume and salary requirements for our prompt consideration.
2. ASPCA Pet of the Week: This Spud’s for You!
Speed is the name of the game for Spud! With the world as his playground, this one-year-old pit bull is content to have relay races all day longwith himself. Then watch him stop, sit and gaze at you calmly, as if to say, “What?”
He may be a Go Getter, but there’s more to Spud than an endless supply of energy. “He’s a very smart guy and has done a great job learning his obedience commands,” gushes Victoria Wells, ASPCA Manager of Shelter Behavior. You can also add “winner” to Spud’s list of redeeming qualities. “He won a ribbon in the Halloween costume contest at the park,” laughs Victoria. “He was dressed as raw sewage!” We’re so proud.
If you love to exercise and are looking for a best friend to keep up with you, Spud’s your guy. He loves other dogs, but no cats, please. Kids over 10 are OK. To meet Spud, please call the ASPCA Animal Placement department at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4120. To see other animals who are waiting for homes, please visit the ASPCA Adoption Center online.
3. Top 10 Pet Poisons of 2008
Is your pooch cuckoo for chocolate? Does your kitty like deep conditioning treatments? Sadly, not everything we love is good for us. In fact, many common household goods that we take for granted as harmless can be disastrous for our furry friends. In 2008, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center in Urbana, IL, handled more than 140,000 cases of pets exposed to toxic household substances, including insecticides, cleaning and beauty supplies and prescription medications.
To help you prevent an unhappy accident in 2009, our experts have created a list of the top 10 poisons that affected our pets last year. Here’s a sneak peek at their advice:
Top dishonors go to human medications, which accounted for approximately 50,000 calls to the Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hotline in 2008. Pets often snatch pill vials from counters and nightstands or gobble up meds accidentally dropped on the floor. “Keep all medications in a cabinet,” advises Dr. Helen Myers, veterinary toxicologist at the ASPCA. That includes pain remedies like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, as well as antidepressants and decongestants, which are all harmful to pets.
Our efforts to battle home invaderslike bugs and miceresulted in nearly 39,000 cases of pets exposed to insecticides and rodent bait. Be sure to place toxic rodenticides out of reach of curious canines who might be attracted to their smell. The misuse of flea and tick products can also cause serious problems for cats. Avoid using any treatments not specifically intended for your pet.
Some of the most delicious people foodincluding citrus, avocado and raisinscan be poisonous to pets. Last year, the ASPCA fielded more than 13,500 calls of pets exposed to various foods. Chocolate ingestion accounted for nearly half of those cases, so be sure to keep the cocoa hidden from your resourceful cat or dog.
Household plants may keep your house green and your air clean, but some can cause serious gastrointestinal problems for companion animals who nibble on their stems and stalks. In 2008, plants accounted for more than 6,300 calls to the Animal Poison Control Center. Check out our toxic plant list before your next visit to the nursery.
As always, if you suspect your pet has ingested anything toxic, please call your vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hotline at (888) 426-4435.
Read our complete list of top 10 pet poisons of 2008.
4. Two New Yorkers Arrested for Starving Their Dogs
Following investigations by the ASPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement (HLE) department, two New York City women were arrested last month for crimes against their animal companions. Although the women are from different boroughs and their stories are unconnected, their alleged offenses are the sameboth failed to adequately care for their pet dogs, putting the animals’ lives in jeopardy through neglect.
Back in October, an HLE agent discovered an emaciated and dirty male pit bull in the Manhattan home of Jennifer Vias, 26. The one-year-old dog was transported to the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital (BMAH), where he was renamed Lazarus and treated for starvation and neglect. On December 14, Vias was placed under arrest and charged with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty. She faces up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine; meanwhile, Lazarus was released to the ASPCA and, just this week, began his new life with qualified, caring adopters.
On December 12, HLE agents arrested Staten Islander Zaquana Gordon for neglecting her three-year-old dog. When police officers from the 122nd Precinct executed an unrelated warrant on Gordon in early November, they encountered the woman’s extremely thin, lethargic pit bull and alerted the ASPCA. HLE agents retrieved the dog from the scene and brought him to BMAH. Like Lazarus, this dog, renamed Romeo, was treated for starvation and neglect.
Gordon, 22, was charged with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty and two counts of criminal possession for drugs found on her person during the arrest. Romeo was released to the ASPCA and is
currently available for adoption.
Owning a pet is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. Neglect to meet a pet’s basic needsincluding food, water, shelter and medical careis a crime recognized by an ever-growing number of jurisdictions across the nation. If you know of an animal whose health is being compromised by neglect, please report it. In New York City, contact the ASPCA’s anonymous tip line at (877) THE-ASPCA. Visit our
Report Cruelty FAQ to learn how to report cruelty elsewhere.
5. NYC Adoption Success Story: La Femme Nikita
A clarion call for change often comes from the unlikeliestand furriestof places. For Lena Liakhovitch of Jersey City, the well-being of a blonde pit bull named Candy became the young woman’s raison d’etre. The two-year-old dognow known as Nikitaoffered that incredible gift of unconditional love, in return for a steady parent’s devotion.
“At the time, I knew I needed a change in my life,” Lena explains, “but I didn't immediately think of getting a dog. I toyed with the idea in the past, but it only became a serious consideration when a close friend who works at the ASPCA asked me if I was interested in fostering one of the new arrivals at the shelter.”
Lena’s well-meaning friend warned her that foster situations are often gateways to forever homes. In other words, there was little chance that this potential foster mom wouldn’t fall in love and want to adopt the sweet and salty pooch. But Lena didn’t mind the risk. “I thought she could bring a new direction to my lifea little more structure and responsibility,” she says.
Add to that a booming social life, since Nikita soon blossomed into an extrovert under Lena’s tender care. “She is the friendliest dog I have ever met!” Lena boasts. “She gets along well with other dogs, people and children. I can take her anywhere, and she follows me everywhereeven to the bathroom!”
Lena soon learned that her foster pooch is also quite the comedienne, or at least a performer at heart. “Sometimes she snorts like a little piggy, and she loves to show off her stuffed squirrel toy,” Lena reports. And when did she realize Nikita would be her partner for life? “On Halloween, when we were walking around Jersey City,” she says. “Excited trick-or-treaters came up to pet her, and she ate up the attention like a ham. I then realized her happiness was what made me happy in return. I knew if I gave her up now, a part of me would be missing.”
6. Expert Advice: Coping with Pet Loss Over the Holidays
The holidays, chock full of family gatherings and much-needed downtime, can be tough for those of us who are grieving over the death of a pet. Memories and feelings of loss come up strongly, but remembering furry loved ones who’ve passed away doesn’t have to take the joy out of your holidays. Accepting your feelings, talking about them and doing creative things such as making scrapbooks of your pets and volunteering at your local animal shelter can help you to begin the New Year with your memories in the right place.
For advice about coping with feelings of loss, please call our Pet Loss Hotline at (877) 474-3310and if you have children who are missing old pets, take a look at our ways to help kids better understand their feelings.