- 1. 2008 in Review: The Nation’s Best New Laws for Animals
- 2. Top 10 Winter Exercise Guidelines for Dogs
- 3. NYC Success Story: Oldie But Goodie
- 4. ASPCA Job of the Week
- 5. TN Puppy Mill Raid Update: Puppies Take Manhattan!
- 6. ASPCA Pet of the Week: Persian Empire
- 7. Economic Forecast: One Million Pets May Lose Homes
1. 2008 in Review: The Nation’s Best New Laws for Animals
Looking back at 2008, champions of animal welfare throughout the United States have plenty to celebrate! Most of the 44 states that conducted regular legislative sessions last year passed at least one pro-animal lawon topics ranging from fighting and felony cruelty to pet trusts and abandonmentand many states passed several. For a quick and easy rundown of 2008’s coolest new laws, check out our new Greatest Hits feature in the ASPCA’s Lobby for Animals section. You’ll also get to see which animal-related topics were popular in multiple states.
Did your state score a Greatest Hit? To help enact laws that help animals this year and in the future, please join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade.
2. Top 10 Winter Exercise Guidelines for Dogs
Does your pooch turn into a couch potato when winter’s chill settles upon your neighborhood? ASPCA experts assure us that while short-haired and smaller breeds may require cozy apparel to protect them from winter’s bite, others simply need a little training to learn how to enjoy a cold-weather romp.
"Getting pets who dislike the cold to go outside during the winter months can often be a behavior-related challenge,” observes ASPCA Animal Trainer Kristen Collins, “but with a few simple training tricksand the right attirepet parents can teach animal companions to be more enthusiastic about playing outdoors in winter.”
Wanna learn our insider's tips? Here’s a sneak peak at our Top 10 Winter Exercise Guidelines for Dogs:
Get your dog excited about outdoor exercise with off-leash play like tug or fetch, or let her romp with canine buddiesthe more aerobic the activity, the warmer your pooch will be.
While on a brisk walk, pop something delicious into your pooch’s mouthor feed her breakfast by hand as you go.
Winter is a great time to enroll in indoor training classes. Agility and flyball are often taught in heated facilities and are excellent exercise for your dog's body and mindyou'll enjoy them, too!
Consider walking your pet in wooded areas during the winter months. Forests not only provide protection from wind but, rich with smells, sights and sounds to investigate, they can be infinitely interesting to dogs and distract them from the chilly temperatures.
Keep your pet warmespecially puppies who have less body fat than adultswith a well-fitting coat that covers your dog's back and underside, where most dogs have no fur. (Fleece is nice!)
And please remember, if you’re cold, your pet probably is, toothat means it’s time to come home.
3. NYC Success Story: Oldie But Goodie
Like a good cheese or fine wine, the best dogs are often better aged. Pet parents Najma Kahn and John Begej of New York City know this secret better than most, and have a knack for spottingand lovingthe very best in elder canines.
Last year, Najma was on her way to do some shopping at Fairway Market on Broadway when she spotted the ASPCA’s Mobile Adoption van. Needless to say, her groceries could wait. She scanned the available animals inside and outside the van, and spied a sweet-looking beagle named Maxwell, who was sitting alone.
“He seemed so sad,” says Najma. “Everyone was looking at the cats and the younger dogs and didn’t even notice him. I decided at that moment that I was taking him home!”
And so it goesshe fell hard for the 12-year-old, who had severe arthritis and a few extra pounds weighing down his aging frame. The following day Najma and John visited the ASPCA’s headquarters and made it officialthey adopted the lucky pooch and brought him home to meet his brother, Holmes, a five-year-old beagle, whom the pair adopted in 2005.
In the past few months, Maxwellwith the help of his new familyhas reinvented his golden years. This special senior has lost ten pounds and enjoys an active lifestyle of running, jumping and frolicking with his younger bro.
“No regrets adopting an old pooch!” Najma declares. “Maxi is a cuddly, loving member of our family. You look into his eyes and can't imagine life without him. We lovingly refer to him as Maxi, as in Maximus the Gladiator, because he’s such a little trooperhe never gives up.”
4. ASPCA Job of the Week
Help us help animals! The ASPCA is looking for a Fundraising Campaign Coordinator to assist with our online fundraising efforts, including outreach campaigns and e-solicitations. Our ideal candidate has at least one year of marketing experience in a tech-heavy environment, as well as direct knowledge of web editing software, HTML, Photoshop and Convio. If you’re an exceptional communicator with a flexible work style and a love of animals, we’d love to hear from you!
This position is required to work from a home-based, remote office. The ASPCA offers generous benefit packages for full-time employees. Please submit your resume and salary requirements for our prompt consideration.
5. TN Puppy Mill Raid Update: Puppies Take Manhattan!
The hundreds of dogs liberated from a Tennessee puppy mill last Wednesday are ready to begin the next chapter of their lives. After spending a few days in a temporary shelter being evaluated and treated by the ASPCA’s cruelty investigation forensic team, veterinarians and behaviorists, the dogs have now been transferred to multiple humane groups for continued care and eventual placement in new homes.
Although the criminal investigation into the breeding operation is ongoing and charges have not yet been filed, relocation of the dogs is possible because the puppy mill’s owner agreed to sign over custody to the White County Sheriff’s Department, which then turned them over to the ASPCA. Initially, 285 dogs were pulled from the propertyhowever, several of them were pregnant. A shih tzu gave birth to six puppies the day after the raid, and three more babies were born on Saturday, bringing the new total to 294.
Earlier this week, 43 of the small-breed dogssome puppies, some adultsmade the 13-hour journey to ASPCA headquarters in New York City. Many will be able to be adopted right away, although some will be best served by a longer rehabilitative stay. “It’s doubtful any of these dogs has ever been walked on a leash, and many have never been outdoors,” says Jeff Eyre, ASPCA Director of Field Operations. Potential adopters are asked to keep in mind that these dogs have led abnormal lives, and that they will require extra patience to assimilate as household pets.
Special thanks are due to all the agencies and individuals who participated in this giant effort, from the volunteers and veterinarians who came from all corners of the South to the White County Sheriff’s Department and American Humane Association, an exemplary partner that assisted in everything from rescue to assessment.
Adoptions of the White County puppy mill dogs begin today at the ASPCA Adoption Center in Manhattan (424 E. 92nd Street). For more information, please call (212) 876-7700, ext. 4145.
6. ASPCA Pet of the Week: Persian Empire
It’s hard to believe that someone would hurt any animal, let alone a beautiful Persian kitten. Indeed, Atosa had a rough start in life, but once she was rescued from an abusive situation by ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Special Agent Lai, her road to recovery began.
Unfortunately, Atosa had to have a leg amputated as a result of severe fractures, but that doesn’t stop her from taking charge. Now a year old, Atosa will let you know when it’s time for affection, when it’s time to playand when she needs to be left alone, thankyouverymuch.
“Atosa is a social cat, although she appreciates attention on her own terms,” says Katie Watts, ASPCA Feline Behavior Counselor. “She wants and demands to be in charge, although she does have her sweet, affectionate side when she's in the mood. “
Atosa loves toys and needs plenty of play time throughout the day. Not willing to share the spotlight, she must be the only pet in the household. (With looks like that, can you blame her?) This pretty Persian is on a special diet and would do best with parents who have cat experience.
If you want to become hypnotized by Atosa’s spellbinding eyesone blue and one yellow! please call (212) 876-7700, ext. 4120. To see other animals who are waiting for homes, please visit the ASPCA Adoption Center online.
7. Economic Forecast: One Million Pets May Lose Homes
The current U.S. financial crisis has the potential to grow into a serious animal welfare issue, warns Executive Vice President of ASPCA Programs, Dr. Stephen Zawistowski. As households across the country are caught in the economic downturn, an estimated 500,000 to one million cats and dogs are at risk of becoming homeless.
“According to national financial estimates, approximately one in 171 homes in the U.S. is in danger of foreclosure due to the subprime mortgage crisis,” Zawistowski observes. “Considering that approximately 63 percent of U.S. households have at least one pet, hundreds of thousands are in danger of being abandoned or relinquished to animal shelters.”
To avoid or ease the heartbreak of losing an animal companion due to economic hardship, the ASPCA urges pet owners who are faced with foreclosure to think of alternatives ahead of time:
See if friends, family or neighbors can provide temporary foster care for their pet until they get back on their feet.
If they are moving into a rental property, get written permission in advance that pets are allowed.
Contact the local animal shelter, humane society or rescue group before they move. If a shelter agrees to take the pet, they should provide medical records, behavior information and anything else that might help the pet find a new home.
“Everyone is being affected by the current economic crisis in some way,” says ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres. “Community animal shelters and rescue groups across the country may soon be seeing an increase in homeless pets or a decrease in the donations they rely on.”
We urge ASPCA News Alert readers to help in any way that you can:
Adopt a homeless pet.
Donate used blankets, towels or even tennis balls to your local animal shelter.
Foster adoptable animals until they find their forever homes.
Help community members who may be struggling to take care of their pets.
For more information on pets in the economic crisis, please visit our pressroom.