- 1. ASPCA's Animal CSI Called Into Action—Rapper DMX Pleads Guilty to Animal Cruelty
- 2. Top 10 Winter Skin & Paw Care Tips
- 3. ASPCA Success Story of the Week: Simply Irresistible
- 4. ASPCA Job of the Week
- 5. ASPCA Pet of the Week: Put on a Happy Face
- 6. Hit-and-Run Driver Arrested After Striking Puppy
1. ASPCA's Animal CSI Called Into Action—Rapper DMX Pleads Guilty to Animal Cruelty
On December 30, rapper DMXknown legally as Earl Simmonspleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty, among other charges for theft and drug possession. The charges stem from a raid in August 2007, when Maricopa County sheriff's deputies descended on Simmons’s Arizona home, finding 12 malnourished pit bulls and the remains of three dogs.
To assist law enforcement officials in their efforts to prosecute Simmons, the ASPCA’s Mobile Animal Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Unit was called into action. Leading the forensic investigation, the ASPCA’s Dr. Melinda Merck examined the remains of the dead dogs recovered from his property."I was very impressed with the level of commitment from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department on this case," says Dr. Merck. "I have worked with many different law enforcement agencies all over the country, and the team working on this investigation was extremely dedicated."
For the record, Simmons is a repeat offenderin 2002, the rapper pleaded guilty to 13 counts of animal cruelty, charges resulting from the neglect of 13 pit bulls. As a result of this most recent prosecution, the rapper faces at least 90 days in jail, can never again own any animals and must attend an animal offender treatment program. A parole violation would send him to jail for more than 10 years. A sentence hearing has been scheduled for January 30.
"The ASPCA is proud to have had its expert staff be a part of this important case," says ASPCA President and CEO Ed Sayres. "Dr. Merck's knowledge and practice of veterinary forensics is truly at the forefront of animal cruelty investigations. With stronger evidence collected by Dr. Merck, law enforcement officials and prosecutors are able to get stronger convictions against those who commit these terrible acts."
2. Top 10 Winter Skin & Paw Care Tips
Whether you enjoy making snow angels with your pooch or brave the elements on walks together, jaunts into the cold outdoors can have serious health consequences. Chapped paws and dry, flaking skin are not the only discomforts pets face. Winter walks can become harmful excursions if chemicals from ice-melting agents are licked off bare paws.
Says Dr. Louise Murray, ASPCA Director of Medicine and author of Vet Confidential, “During the winter, products used as de-icers on sidewalks and other areas can lead to trouble for our animal companions, causing potential problems that range from sore feet to internal toxicity. Pet parents should take precautions to minimize their furry friends' exposure to such agents.”
To help prevent wintertime dangers that threaten paw and skin health, please heed the following advice from our experts:
Wash and dry your pet’s feet after outdoor romps to remove ice, salt and chemicals from ice-melting agentsand check for cracks in paw pads or redness between the toes.
Take a towel with you on long walks to clean off stinging, irritated paws instead of waiting until you get home.
Dressing your pet in a sweater or coat will help to retain body heat and prevent skin from getting dry. And booties help minimize contact with painful salt crystals, poisonous anti-freeze and chemical de-icers.
Massaging petroleum jelly into paw pads before going outside helps to protect from salt and chemical agents. And moisturizing after a good toweling off helps to heal chapped paw skin.
Trim long-haired dogs to minimize the clinging of ice balls, salt crystals and de-icing chemicals that can dry on a pet’s skin. (Don’t forget the hair between the toes!)
For more information, please read our complete Top 10 Winter Skin & Paw Care Tips, and if you spot wounds or redness on your pet’s feet or skin, please contact your veterinarian immediately.
3. ASPCA Success Story of the Week: Simply Irresistible
Deemed useless by a rabbit hunting group for his tendency to wander, Xavier the basset hound was ordered to be euthanized if a home for him wasn’t immediately found. Luckily for him, Stacy Adams, who worked on the Illinois farm where the hunting dogs were kept, decided to adopt the two-year-old dog.
For two years, Xavier trusted only Stacy. “Xavier was painfully shy and had been abused by the people who ran the hunt,” she tells us. “My dad tried hard to be his friend, but Xavey was just too frightened. And then one day, while we were watching TV, he just jumped up into my dad's lap. I guess he decided it was time.”
Nine years later, this punchy pooch is anything but timid. Though he spends lots of time lounging, he has no problem letting everyone know when it’s time to play. He simply slaps the ground with his front feet, jumps from side to side and barks that loud basset bark.
Stacy is surprised by her eleven-year-old’s energy, but not by his disposition. “He’s the dog everyone loves,” she says. “He’s even great friends with my cat. Last year he had two herniated discs in his neck, and before surgery he let my cat clean his eyes and ears and snuggle with him.”
Now that he’s back on his feet, Xavier’s literally irresistible. “When he wants attention, he forces it on you,” Stacy tells us with a laugh. “He’ll climb up into your lap, put his head in your face and give you no choiceyou have to snuggle with him.”
4. ASPCA Job of the Week
Hey techies, we know you’re out there! The ASPCA is searching for a Help Desk Technician to maintain our computer hardware, software, mobile devices and associated peripherals, as well as resolve periodic technical issues. We’re looking for someone with two to three years of desktop support experience in a service-oriented, multi-site organization. If you have solid knowledge of desktop environments, and get your kicks resolving technology’s many quandaries, you could be the one!
The ASPCA offers generous benefit packages for full-time employees. Please submit your resume and salary requirements for our prompt consideration.
5. ASPCA Pet of the Week: Put on a Happy Face
Is that a winning smile or what? We bet that Opel is probably thinking about meeting a special family that's ready to make a lifetime commitment. A one-year-old shepherd mix, Opel was returned to the ASPCA because her owner moved and could not take her along.
Our behavior staff dubbed Opel as Life of the Party. That means she’s loads of fun, with brains to match! “She’s very eager to learn for a taste of her favorite treat!” said her former owner. “She knows her basic commands, like ‘down’ and ‘sit,’ and she has no behavior issues.” Opel loves to play with other dogs and get lots of exercise while on the town.
We’re thrilled to report that, as we went to press, Opel found a great new home. You
go, Opel! But there are other great dogs just like her waiting for you at the ASPCA Adoption Center online.
6. Hit-and-Run Driver Arrested After Striking Puppy
Early last month, five-month-old pit bull Gigi and her owner were crossing the street near their Staten Island home when suddenly a car struck the puppy. According to Gigi’s owner, the car was on the wrong side of the street. The driver left the scene of the accident without providing any information to the puppy’s devastated owner. Sadly, Gigi succumbed to her injuries and died at a nearby animal hospital. The ASPCA was notified of the incident two days later and promptly began an investigation.
On December 27, ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement agents arrested the alleged hit-and-run driver, Rafael Lauda, on multiple charges stemming from the accident. Lauda, 22, was charged with leaving the scene of an accident with injury to an animal and driving with a suspended license. If convicted of all charges, he faces more than a year in jail.
What should you do if you see an animal being hit by a car? “Regardless of how serious the injuries appear, any animal hit by a car needs immediate medical attention,” says Dr. Robert Reisman, ASPCA Medical Coordinator of Animal Cruelty Cases. “Internal injuries may not be visible, but in all instances may be life-threatening.”
More tips from Dr. Reisman:
“If there is external bleeding, apply pressure to the wound to limit loss of blood.”
“Because you may further aggravate a serious injury while moving an injured animal, he or she should be carefully placed on a boardor at the very least, a blanketand carefully, but quickly, transported to the closest animal hospital.”
Additionally, the ASPCA reminds you to be extra alert when crossing the street with your dogskeep them close, and never use extension leashes near high-traffic areas. If you have witnessed animal cruelty, please report it. In New York City, call (877) THE-ASPCA. To learn how to report cruelty elsewhere, visit our Report Cruelty FAQ.