- 1. Cat Survives Kick in Face with Steel-Toe Boot
- 2. You Can Help! NYC Must Create More Animal Shelters
- 3. Let’s Stay Together: How to Help Your Pet Overcome Separation Anxiety
- 4. ASPCA Pet of the Week: Professor Higgins Seeks Fair Lady
- 5. ASPCA Jobs of the Month
- 6. ASPCA Happy Tails: Inspector 12
1. Cat Survives Kick in Face with Steel-Toe Boot
On September 14, Bronx resident Ronald Ross, 33, was arrested by ASPCA Special Agent Adam Gankiewicz and charged with felony animal cruelty for allegedly kicking his mother’s cat, Meow, in the face.
According to Ross’s mother, the incident occurred on the morning of August 21, when after searching the apartment for her missing cat, she found Meow hiding under her son’s bedher face traumatized. When confronted about the cat's condition, her son reportedly laughed before admitting to kicking the cat repeatedly in the face with his steel-toe boots. The woman rushed Meow to ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital, where the cat was treated for injuries, including several broken teeth and a ruptured eye that was surgically removed.
Following the attack, the Bronx District Attorney filed a restraining order against Ross on behalf of his mother, who subsequently had the locks of her apartment changed. Under these conditions, Meow returned home where she is now recuperating.
Ross was indicted by a Bronx grand jury on charges of felony aggravated animal cruelty and misdemeanor animal cruelty, which is a lesser offense. If convicted, he could face up to two years in jail and a $2,000 fine.
Stacy Wolf, Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel for ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement, applauded the swift action of the grand jury in indicting Ross on multiple counts in this case. “Inflicting such severe injury on a helpless cat signals the potential for violence directed at other vulnerable victims, including human family members. Serious criminal sanctions are a vital tool in the fight against these vicious crimes.”
If you know of an animal who is being hurt, please report itthose who intentionally hurt animals may move on to abuse the people in their lives. To report animal cruelty in New York City, call the ASPCA’s tip line at (877) THE-ASPCA. Visit our Report Cruelty FAQ to learn how to report cruelty elsewhere.
Read more about ASPCA Arrests.
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2. You Can Help! NYC Must Create More Animal Shelters
The ASPCA applauds a decision by the New York State Supreme Court to uphold a 2000 law mandating the existence of full-service animal shelters in all five New York City boroughs. In last week’s ruling, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Marilyn Shafer gave the City 60 days to come up with a plan to implement the law (pdf) which will ultimately allow for more animals to be adopted and fewer to be euthanized.
While the boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island are each outfitted with New York City Animal Care and Control shelters, the Bronx and Queens have only part-time animal receiving centers. Animals in these two boroughs are routinely sent to Manhattan and Brooklyn, where shelters quickly reach capacity, resulting in the euthanasia of healthy pets. Although funds were allocated for a full-service shelter in each borough, the City has not yet taken steps to purchase sites in the Bronx and Queens.
“Each New York City borough, by law, was required to have a full-service animal shelter by July 1, 2006,” states Michelle Villagomez, ASPCA Senior Manager of Advocacy & Campaigns. "The ASPCA has been urging New York City for years to fulfill its mandate and provide the people and animals of Queens and the Bronx with these shelters."
In January 2009, the nonprofit group Stray from the Heart sued the City, reasoning that its failure to set up animal shelters in the Bronx and Queens resulted in the “needless suffering and death of homeless cats and dogs." In its lawsuit, the group charged: “Homeless dogs have been dying in unconscionable numbers because the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has not provided the shelter space required by statute.”
Notes Villagomez, “Not only are healthy, innocent animals being euthanized before getting a chance at adoption, but residents of these boroughs are tax-paying New Yorkers and deserve the same services that residents in the other three boroughs receive.”
The City of New York plans to appeal the court's decision.
How You Can Help
The impact of the shelter shortage is felt city-wideeven in the three boroughs that currently have shelters. Please phone your representative on the New York City Council and urge him or her to support the establishment of full-service animal shelters in all five boroughs. Find out who your councilmember is.
Do you Twitter? Use this hashtag to tweet on this article: @aspca and #NYCMustBuildShelters
3. Let’s Stay Together: How to Help Your Pet Overcome Separation Anxiety
The month of September signifies a time of change: the season turns, school starts and vacations come to an end. Unfortunately, for many dogs, this departure from routineespecially the increased absence of two-legged friendscan be very unsettling. In response, poor Fido may start acting disruptive or destructive when left home alone. He may resort to urinating and defecating in the house, howling, chewing, pacing or trying to escape from the house or yard. When these issues are accompanied by signs of panic, distress or depression, they may indicate that your pet suffers from separation anxiety.
“Dogs re-homed during or after their adolescence are at greater risk of suffering separation anxiety than puppies,” says Jacque Schultz, ASPCA Senior Director of Community Outreach. “This is because lack of life experience has made them less resilient to changes in their routine and environment. They cling to their new guardian and panic when that guardian leaves home to go about his or her daily business.”
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should steer clear of adopting adolescent or elder poochesespecially since they make such great companionsso we’re here to help! When treating a dog with separation anxiety, the goal is to resolve the underlying issue by teaching him to enjoyor at least toleratebeing left alone. Our experts have put together a list of top tips for helping your pooch overcome separation anxiety. Here’s a sneak peek at their advice:
Doctor Knows Best: The first step in tackling pet behavior issues is to rule out any underlying medical problems that might be causing them. For example, if your pet is urinating in the house, he might be suffering from a urinary tract infection, bladder stones, diabetes or kidney diseaseall of which can cause urinary incontinence in dogs.
Conquer the Fear: If your pooch suffers from mild separation anxiety, try counter conditioning, or helping your dog associate being alone with something good, like a tasty treat. This might reduce or resolve the problem. To develop this kind of association, offer your dog a food-dispensing toy stuffed with healthy treats every time you leave the house.
Dogs Need Jobs: Providing lots of physical and mental stimulation is a vital part of treating many behavior problems, especially those involving anxiety. Exercise can enrich your dog’s life, decrease stress and provide appropriate outlets for normal behavior. Plus, a tired dog doesn’t have much excess energy to burn when he’s left alone!
Learn more about teaching your dog how to be comfortable being aloneread our complete guide to overcoming separation anxiety.
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4. ASPCA Pet of the Week: Professor Higgins Seeks Fair Lady
Got a thing for distinguished elders? Higgins is your catthis handsome devil is an outgoing, ten-year-old tabby who really needs a full-time companion. Like most senior citizens, he’s looking for an attentive caretaker who will see to his medical needs and ensure he receives ample kindness.
“Higgins is one of the most lovable, affectionate cats ever!” enthuses Katie Watts, ASPCA Senior Feline Behavior Counselor. “He's the perfect lap cat and would love to sit on his favorite person's lap for hours. He has tons and tons of love to give.”
Plus, this dapper don is free of all adoption feesso call us! Our Animal Placement department is waiting to hear from you at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4120. To check out other animals looking for homes, visit our Adoption Center online.
****Got Facebook? Won’t you please donate your status to Higgins 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 my status to Higgins http://www.aspca.org/higgins, a cat at the ASPCA who needs a new home.
Do you Twitter? Use this hashtag to tweet on this article: @aspca and #ProfHiggins
5. ASPCA Jobs of the Month
The ASPCA is searching for self-motivated team players with outstanding interpersonal skills to fill a variety of roles in our organization:
The ASPCA is searching for a Coordinator of Direct Response Data to process member donations and closely monitor the transfer of data across several platforms. Our ideal candidate has a college degree and at least one year of experience working with donor or customer databases in a nonprofit or marketing environment. If you’re a hardworking pro looking for a job with a cause, we’d love to hear from you!
The ASPCA is looking for a Licensed Veterinary Technician for our Mobile Spay/Neuter Clinics. Our ideal candidate has a strong commitment to the spay/neuter goals, as well as experience in surgery prep, post-op recovery and restraining large and/or fractious animals. Please have three to five years of veterinary medical experience and be CCPDT certified.
The ASPCA is looking for an Animal Behavior Counselor to provide behavior assessments to shelter animals (primarily dogs), implement behavioral enrichment and rehabilitation programs for our shelter animals and train staff, volunteers and the public in dog walking, cat handling and socialization. A college degree and experience handling cats is preferred. Please be CCPDT certified.
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6. ASPCA Happy Tails: Inspector 12
Working as an ASPCA Animal Care Technician, it seemed that Queens, NY, resident Angela Acevedo was destined to cross paths with nine-year-old lap cat Cricket. “Back in June, while I was cleaning cat rooms on the fourth floor, I met this sweet feline,” Angela recalls. Working with her day after day, Angela couldn’t help but notice how gentle Cricket was, but also that no one wanted to adopt her.
“One reason, I think, was because of her condition. She was on a special diet for her kidneys,” Angela recalls. “I didn't want her ending up in a household that would eventually give her back. When I mentioned her to my family, they flat out asked ‘Why don't YOU adopt her?’ That was my green light to bring Cricket home.”
When she arrived, Cricket was nervous. “On her first day, she didn't move around at all,” Angela remembers. “She stayed in the same spot on the couch for days except to use the bathroom. She also wasn't eating or drinking much, so I had to heat up her food and hand-feed her.” After a week, something changed. Cricket began to walk around the living room inspecting every inch, and she still does it to this day. “After a nice, long nap, she walks around the entire house, visiting each room to see who’s in there. Once she leaves the room, we won’t see her for hours.”
Angela’s entire family is in love with this thorough gal, including her other adopted cat, Rambo. “When I get home from work, I’ll find Rambo lying next to her, just watching her sleep,” Angela says. Cricket’s now the official queen of the Acevedo household, presiding with a loud purr. “She may be nine years old and have health issues,” says Angela, “but it doesn’t make us love her any less. I plan to make the rest of her life incredibly fulfilling.”
Read more Happy Tails.
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