- 1. 2009 Campaign to Fight Puppy Mills in Full Swing
- 2. ASPCA Job of the Week
- 3. Effective Immediately: Please Discontinue Use of Peanut Butter Products, Pet Parents!
- 4. ASPCA Pet of the Week: Lover Boy
- 5. Adopt-A-Bull Fourth Quarter Winner: Gunther, Take A Bow!
- 6. ASPCA NYC Success Story: Lay On, MacDuff!
- 7. There’s Still Time to Register for Pet Therapy Classes
1. 2009 Campaign to Fight Puppy Mills in Full Swing
As America ushers in a new era of federal leadership, many state governments are also getting back to workand at least one of them is making puppy mill reform a priority. Last Sunday, the ASPCA joined animal welfare advocates and Illinois lawmakers in Chicago to announce the arrival of Chloe’s Bill, legislation that will help stamp out the worst puppy mills in the Prairie State.
“Illinois has a unique opportunity to adopt one of the strongest commercial breeding laws in the country,” says Cori Menkin, ASPCA Senior Director of Legislative Initiatives. “As commercial breeding increases throughout the United States, particularly in the Midwest, it is reassuring that Illinois is recognizing the need for stronger laws before the prevalence of puppy mills becomes a blight on the state’s reputation.”
As currently written, Chloe’s Bill would:
Limit to 20 the number of unaltered dogs a breeder may possess
Ban anyone convicted of felony-level animal cruelty from acquiring a dog-breeding license
Prohibit wire flooring in commercial breeding facilities and create guidelines for appropriate heating, cooling and ventilation
Require pet stores and breeders to provide customers with a dog’s full medical history
Establish penalties for violations, ranging from fines to animal seizure and license revocation
Sponsored by State Rep. John Fritchey and State Senator Dan Kotowski, Chloe’s Bill is named for a young cocker spanielrescued from a Macon County, IL, puppy millwho was present at Sunday’s press conference. Now living with one of the animal control agents involved in the raid on her kennel, Chloe is the sole survivor from her litter. Like thousands of other commercial dog breeders in the U.S., the owners of Chloe’s kennel focused on producing as many puppies as possible with little regard for the physical and mental health of their animals. The dogs found at this puppy mill were matted with feces and urine, and infested with fleas and internal parasites. Many suffered from deformed paws from living their lives on wire-floored cages.
As Rep. Fritchey explained to the media, “We are not trying to do anything drastic; we’re not trying to do anything radical. We’re trying to implement standards for what is humane care, for what is decent care.” Fritchey added that although he expects the bill will encounter some opposition, any dog breeder who would oppose it is likely to be the type of breeder that should make consumers wary.
How can you help? It is animal lovers like you who bring about change. Even if you don’t live in Illinois, what happens in one state becomes easier to accomplish in othersso we need you in the fight. In the coming weeks, the ASPCA Advocacy Center will email our Illinois advocates, providing guidance on how they can join us in getting Chloe’s Bill passed. But wherever you live, don’t miss out on this or any other important legislative news from the ASPCAplease sign up to receive animal advocacy-related emails.
2. ASPCA Job of the Week
The ASPCA is looking for a Full-Time Customer Service Representative to meet and greet potential pet parents and serve as goodwill ambassador for our Pet Adoption Center. Our ideal candidate is an animal-loving professional, fluent in both Spanish and English, who can assist the public with the adoption process and perform clerical duties as needed. If you’re an enthusiastic and diplomatic team player, we’d love to hear from you!
This position is full-time, and requires a commitment of four days a weekSaturday through Tuesdayfrom 10:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. The ASPCA offers generous benefit packages for full-time employees. Please submit your resume and salary requirements for our prompt consideration.
3. Effective Immediately: Please Discontinue Use of Peanut Butter Products, Pet Parents!
In light of last week’s FDA recall, which traced sources of Salmonella contamination to a plant owned by Peanut Corporation of America, the ASPCA is advising pet parents to temporarily discontinue the use of peanut butter products.
A popular treat for dogs, peanut butter is commonly stuffed into chewable activity toys. While healthy adult companion dogs are relatively resistant to Salmonella bacteria, pets with health issues, young puppies and older pooches with compromised immune systems may be at greater risk. “Pet parents should wash their hands after handling any potentially contaminated food and immediately consult with a veterinarian if any symptoms are noticed in their pets,” says the ASPCA’s Dr. Steven Hansen, Senior Vice President, Animal Health Services. Signs to watch out for in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, lethargy and drooling or panting. Cats may develop a high fever with vague, non-specific clinical signs.
In addition, pet parents handling a contaminated peanut butter product may also develop food poisoning. “Salmonella can be passed between humans and pets,” says Dr. Louise Murray, ASPCA Director of Medicine. “Adult cats are highly resistant, and most dogs infected with the bacterium appear normal, but may pass Salmonella in their feces, which can infect people or other pets. Therefore it’s essential that pet parents take steps to protect both themselves and their animal companions from infection."
For a complete list of recalled products, please visit the FDA online. Do check often, as the list is regularly udpated. If you suspect that your pet may have ingested or has become sick after ingesting a recalled product, please contact your local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
4. ASPCA Pet of the Week: Lover Boy
Chivalry isn’t dead, thanks to a four-year-old orange tabby. Meet Morris. Ever the gentleman, he believes in old-fashioned romance. Head rubs are permitted on the first date, but he is the type to court his adopter before he takes the relationship too faryou know, rolling over on his back and purring.
And just like some modern-day lover boys, Morris gets cold paws just before he’s greeted at the door. “He’s a little nervous in new situations, but very sweet,” says Katie Watts, Feline Behavior Counselor.
But don’t worryhe won’t love you and leave you. Morris isn’t interested in playing the field. All he wants is to settle down in a “quiet household, with someone who wants some cuddle time.”
If you think you are a match for Morris, please call (212) 876-7700, ext. 4120. To see other animals who are waiting for homes, please visit the ASPCA Adoption Center online.
5. Adopt-A-Bull Fourth Quarter Winner: Gunther, Take A Bow!
When we introduced the ASPCA’s Adopt-A-Bull Contest last February, we had no idea that we’d meet so many pooch-human pairs of such loving proportions. Now that our national call to pit parents and Meet Your Match™ shelters has yielded a fourth and final winning pair, we’re pleasantly surprised yet again.
Skinny pit bull Gunther had a bad case of mange and a collar embedded under his skin when police officer Rebecca Hengen met him at the Humane Society of South Mississippi (HSSM). Still, Rebecca couldn’t stop thinking about the gentle one-year-old with one distinguishing featureGunther was deaf.
In making her decision to adopt, Rebecca received some divine, albeit unusual, inspiration. She tells us, “That week, in the comic strip Mutts, a white dog who looked like Gunther was portrayed as saying, 'Sure I know I'm deaf, but I'd still make a great companion. Just do like I do, listen to your heart.'"
Rebecca did just that, and thus Gunther found his forever home. A charming gentleman, he blended easily into the family and consistently changes minds about his breed. "One of the officers I work with is extremely nervous around pit bulls," says Rebecca. "When they met, Gunther immediately made him his friend. He just pushed his head against the officer's leg and gave him the ‘please pet me’ look.”
HSSM will be awarded a $4,000 grant for making the winning match, and both the pet-parent pair and the shelter are automatically entered to win the grand prize in the “Vote for Your Favorite Match" online contest scheduled to start in just a few weeks. Please visit ASPCA.org for complete contest details.
6. ASPCA NYC Success Story: Lay On, MacDuff!
After the passing of their beloved Westie, Mac, this past September, Kent and Diantha Allenby of Princeton, NJ, thought they would wait awhile before adopting another dog. “Raising a puppy takes a tremendous amount of time and commitment, and with our children out of the house, we weren't sure we were ready for it,” explains Kent. “But the house was just too empty.”
So Diantha started visiting animal shelters near their home and scouring Westie rescue groups on the Internet. On October 11, while surfing the web, she saw a unique soul with an ordinary nameDale, an eight-year-old Westie, who was available for adoption at the ASPCA’s headquarters in Manhattan. “My wife called our daughter who lives about ten blocks from the ASPCA,” Kent explains. “She met and visited him, even though he was groggy from recent surgery.”
The eight-year-old poochnow known as MacDuffhad arrived at the ASPCA with a tumor that required complex treatment. “When he first arrived, I did a colonoscopy to examine the mass, see the extent of it and take a biopsy,” reports Dr. Louise Murray, Director of Medicine at the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital. “The mass was localizedalthough extensiveand benign, and our surgeon later removed it successfully.”
When the ASPCA opened the next morning, Kent and Diantha were the first ones at the door. “After meeting MacDuff, we immediately knew he was meant for us,” Kent says. “Initially he was very quiet almost reservedbut on our first walk, we found he was beautifully trained and anxious to please.”
And like his namesake’s characterone of Shakespeare’s most loyal creationsthis tiny pup knows a good thing when he sees it. Kent explains: “Our first stop on the way home to Princeton was a pet store, where MacDuff picked a stuffed elephant off the shelf and carried it around with him until it became his first toy.”
Having recovered from surgery and settled into his new home, the former city slicker is enjoying suburban life, although according to Kent, “He still can’t understand why the deer in the backyard run away from him when he wanders over to say hello.”
“Among his favorite pastimes is chasing a ball, particularly those that have squeakers,” says Kent. “In fact, whatever he's doing at the moment is his favorite thing, particularly if it's dinnertime. MacDuff’s become a full member of our family.”
Kent adds: “He has been particularly important to us recently. My wife's mother passed away in Virginia over the holidays, and I have not been able to be with my wife all the time, but MacDuff has. He has picked up on her feelings and is never more than a step or two away. I am deeply grateful for thatwhen I can't be with her, MacDuff is there.”
7. There’s Still Time to Register for Pet Therapy Classes
If your dog has a knack for brightening someone’s day, 2009 may be the right time to harvest his natural charm and skills and train him to be a therapy dog! The ASPCA is hosting a new session of classes at our New York City headquarters beginning January 31 to help get you started:
- Recommended for friendly dogs at least three months of age, “Walk with MeSkills for Success” covers basic obedience skills necessary for successful and safe therapy dog visits. Tuition for the six-week class is $255.
- Friendly, well-behaved dogs with a knowledge of basic skills are invited to attend the seven-week course, “Go Say HiTeaching You and Your Dog to Help Others,” in preparation for the Delta Society Pet Partners Evaluation. Tuition of $290 includes the Delta Society Pet Partner Manual and the Delta Society Screening Evaluation.
Please register online at ASPCA.org.