- 1. ASPCA Happy Tails: Picture Perfect
- 2. ASPCA Pet of the Week: Pet Sounds
- 3. Ranch Founder Pleads Not Guilty—Latest News from Wisconsin Raid
- 4. Popular Flea Products Can Hurt Your Cat
- 5. Alabama Dog Fighting Bust—45 Dogs Seized, Remains Found
1. ASPCA Happy Tails: Picture Perfect
The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” really rang true for Rahel Michaeli and her husband. The couple fell head over heels in love with a photo posted on the ASPCA website of a pooch named Jack. The 10-month-old Pit Bull came to the ASPCA after being rescued by Special Agent Paul Lai.
“Jack was a classic case of neglect,” says Agent Lai. “He was not being fed; he also had bodily scars and part of his tongue appeared to have been bitten off.”
Despite his apparent bumps and bruises, the Michaeli family couldn’t wait to meet the pup. “When we reached his kennel at the ASPCA Adoption Center,” recalls Rahel, “he had just woken from a naphe was even cuter than his photo!” The couple took Jack to the playroom and over a game of fetch, knew they had met their perfect match.
Jack’s first night in his new home was just as perfect. “I remember walking into the living room and seeing my husband hand-feeding Jack pieces of roast chicken as they both lounged on the couch.” But don’t be fooled by that imagery, Jack is no couch potato. After a year of living with the Michaeli family, he has put on 25 pounds and is now a lean, mean, running machine. “I’ve lost 20 pounds from our daily three-mile runs!” exclaims Rahel.
And how does Jack end his busy days? In bed with mom and dad, of course! “Jack has slept in bed with us since the day we brought him home,” says Rahel. “He stretches out right in between us, under the covers. We can’t imagine what our picture perfect family would be like without him.”
2. ASPCA Pet of the Week: Pet Sounds
One little lady living in our shelter has purred her way to our heartsCricket, along with her fellow fab felines, is one of our top cats. At nine years old, Cricket is an aged beauty. So in honor of June as Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month, we think she more than deserves the spotlight. But not a microphone, thank you very much! This black-and-white lap cat has the loudest purr this side of the Mississippi River.
“Cricket's a very, very mellow, laid-back gal who would be perfectly happy snoozing next to her favorite person all day,” says Katie Watts, ASPCA Senior Feline Behavior Counselor. “She’s low maintenance behavior-wise!”
So why not let this mature kitty park it on your lap for the second half of her life? She’ll make a great companion and cuddle bug. Oh, and did we mention she’s free? That’s right, all cats over three are free at the ASPCA Adoption Center for a limited time! But just ‘cuz she’s free, doesn’t mean she’s cheap. So show some respect and come meet this lovely ladyor call ASPCA Animal Placement at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4120. To view other animals looking for homes, please visit our Adoption Center online.
****Got Facebook? Won’t you please donate your status to Cricket 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 his/her status to http://www.aspca.org/cricket, a cat at the ASPCA who needs a new forever home.
3. Ranch Founder Pleads Not Guilty—Latest News from Wisconsin Raid
Jennifer Petkus, founder of the Thyme and Sage Ranch, pleaded not guilty to 11 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and five forfeitures on May 29 in Richland County, WI. The Thyme and Sage Ranch is an animal sanctuary located 75 miles northwest of Madison, WI, that was raided on May 19. ASPCA Forensic and Disaster Response Teams, as well as the Mobile CSI Unit, were onsite to assist local authorities with the investigation and the collection of evidence that will be used in the prosecution of the criminal case.
More than 315 dogs, 21 rabbits, birds, horses, chinchillas and a ferret were removed from the property during the two-day seizure. Most of the animals were housed in deplorable conditions, and carcasses were also found.
“Our next step is to prepare a report that includes results of the crime scene search, the forensic veterinarian investigation of both living and deceased victims and the complete photo package of the overall scene, each animal victim and the conditions in which they were living,” says Jeff Eyre, the ASPCA Director of Field Operations and lead investigator on the case. According to Eyre, once this report is filed, there is the possibility of additional charges, including fraud, tax issues, ill-gotten gains and other violations of Wisconsin law.
Last week Petkus relinquished ownership of more than 270 animals, who are being transported to 15 humane societies and rescue organizations throughout Wisconsin and will eventually be made available for adoption. Ten dogs were returned to the Thyme and Sage Ranch, where a Richland County deputy will check on them daily, and a veterinarian will monitor their health. The remaining animals are being held by the Dane County Humane Society as evidence in the ongoing investigation.
4. Popular Flea Products Can Hurt Your Cat
In light of recent government scrutiny of flea and tick products, the ASPCA is cautioning pet parents to use care when applying any over-the-counter or prescription flea and tick solutions. Spot-on productstopical insecticides applied to the skingenerally kill fleas and ticks by targeting their nervous systems. But if misapplied, these products can have devastating consequences for our furry friends.
According to new data from the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, when cats are treated properly and according to label directions, fewer than 2% experience major illness, while nearly 20% suffer major problems when the solution is used incorrectly.
“Cats especially are extremely sensitive to insecticides,” says Dr. Steven Hansen, ASPCA Veterinary Toxicologist and Senior Vice President of Animal Health Services. “Just a few drops of concentrated permethrin, present in many spot-on treatments designed for dogs, can be lethal to cats.”
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which regulates topical pet treatments, says the number of reported incidents from spot-on flea and tick treatments increased more than 50% in 2008. As a result of the increase, the EPA announced last month that it’s evaluating all spot-on products.
Here’s some advice for keeping your pet safe from fleas and insecticides this summer:
Confirm your pet has fleas by identifying common signs such as scabs, excessive scratching and droppings (known as “flea dirt”) in your pet’s coat.
Talk to your vet about choosing the right, species-specific flea treatment for your pet and never use products made for dogs on cats, and vice versa.
Avoid applying flea powders and sprays in addition to a spot-on treatmentthe chemicals in different products can have adverse reactions with each other.
Clean your house, including rugs, bedding and upholstery, and discard any used vacuum bags. Since fleas love long, unkempt grass, remember to treat and maintain your yard as carefully as your home.
If you suspect your pet is having a reaction from a flea infestation or topical flea and tick product, please contact your veterinarian immediately. For more information about flea prevention this summer, please visit our pet care pages online.
5. Alabama Dog Fighting Bust—45 Dogs Seized, Remains Found
On Monday, June 1, a dog fighting operation in Randolph County, AL, was raided by the state’s 5th Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force. The ASPCA dispatched forensic veterinarian Dr. Melinda Merck and our Mobile Animal Crime Scene Investigation Unit to collect evidence in the investigation and aid in the prosecution of the case.
Dr. Merck examined 45 dogs who were discovered tied to heavy chains and living in deplorable conditions on two properties. She also examined partially buried skeletal remains of a dog found on site. In addition, controlled substances, illicit drugs and other paraphernalia related to dog fighting have been collected into evidence.
“These dogs definitely suffered abuse and inhumane treatment at the hands of dog fighters,” says Dr. Merck, Senior Director of Veterinary Forensics for the ASPCA. “So far, we’ve seen that one is unable to walk, another who is limping, and many who are injured, some severely.”
As a result of ASPCA participation, two suspects have been formally charged. William Alsabrook was charged with two counts of possession of dogs for fighting, and Artis Kyle was charged with one count of possession of dogs for fighting, two counts of possession of a controlled substance, one count of possession of drug paraphernalia and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Check out video footage of the scene, and don’t miss our one-on-one chat with Dr. Merck about her role in this case.
Learn more about the brutal world of dog fighting and what you can do to help end this cruel “sport.”