- 1. Interview with ASPCA Special Agent Joann Sandano
- 2. Meet Survivors of the Largest Dog Fighting Raid in History
- 3. NYC Kicking Carriage Horses Out of West Side Property
- 4. Groundbreaking Canine Influenza Study Spearheaded by ASPCA
- 5. ASPCA Pet of the Week: Gentle Giant
1. Interview with ASPCA Special Agent Joann Sandano
If you’ve watched Animal Planet’s award-winning reality series Animal Precinct, you’ve met ASPCA Special Agent Joann Sandano. A Humane Law Enforcement Agent with the ASPCA for more than 10 years, Agent Sandano has seen it all when it comes to animal cruelty.
Growing up on Long Island, Sandano began her professional career as a volunteer animal cruelty investigator for her local SPCAbut her devotion to saving animals became evident much earlier than that. We recently had a chance to talk to her about the path that led to her to protect the animals of New York City.
Read the full interview with ASPCA Special Agent Joann Sandano
2. Meet Survivors of the Largest Dog Fighting Raid in History
This past July, the ASPCA assisted in collecting forensic evidence and conducting behavior evaluations of dogs rescued during a federal and multi-state investigation that led to one of the toughest crackdowns on dog fighting in U.S. history. Raids were conducted on various dog fighting operations in eight states and resulted in the rescue of more than 500 dogs.
Now, after months of rehabilitation, many of the rescued dogs are seeing a miraculous change in lifestyle.
Evaluated over the summer by a team of animal behaviorists, including four ASPCA staffers, most of the dogs are absolute gems with people, and quite a number are also good with other dogs.
Vice President of the ASPCA Animal Behavior Center, Dr. Pamela Reid, who was a member of the behavior evaluations team, says, “We found the dogs to be true to Pit Bull reputation─they were extremely friendly with people. Most greeted us with wagging tails and smiling eyes, and while some were aggressive with other dogs, as would be expected from their history, about two-thirds of the adults and most of the puppies did not test aggressive. With socialization and training, many of these dogs may well turn out to be excellent pets and companions."
Check out the following pooches, who after surviving painful lives of dog fighting, are not only ready to become loving companions, but will use their stories to inspire others.
3. NYC Kicking Carriage Horses Out of West Side Property
The City of New York has given Shamrock Stablesthe West 45th Street home to more than two dozen carriage horsesuntil June to move out. Next summer, the City-owned property will be reclaimed for the construction of affordable housing. Shamrock Stables has been leasing the lot from the City for below market value for many years. Midtown’s other horse stables are already at capacityand with a scarcity of properties that are both close to Central Park and appropriately priced and zoned, the future of these carriage horses is up in the air.
The ASPCA is hopeful that this eviction means that the Shamrock horses will be allowed to retire. If that is the case, our partner agency, NYCLASS (New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets), will offer assistance to the horses’ owners to relocate the horses to habitable environs where they can live out the rest of their lives in a safe, animal-friendly environment.
“We have said time and time again that neither New York City’s environment nor its current laws provide carriage horses with the fundamental necessities to ensure their safety and well-being,” says ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres. “This latest development further underscores the limitations that 21st century New York City has to offer such an antiquated industry.”
The ASPCA and NYCLASS lauded a recent report by the NYC Comptroller’s Office, which detailed numerous infractions and violations on behalf of the horse carriage industry as well as poor oversight on behalf of the City’s Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DoHMH).
Both groups urge the City Council and Mayor Bloomberg to push for the much-needed and past-due phase-out of the carriage horses and the implementation of a safe, humane, environmentally friendly and economically viable alternative.
4. Groundbreaking Canine Influenza Study Spearheaded by ASPCA
Last week, the ASPCA announced the launch of a three-year research study of the Canine Influenza Virus (CIV), a highly contagious respiratory illness and one of the viral causes of “kennel cough.” Funded by the Morris Animal Foundation, the groundbreaking studyconducted by Dr. Miranda Spindel, ASPCA Director of Veterinary Outreach, and Dr. Gabriele Landolt of Colorado State University's Department of Clinical Scienceswill help animal shelters develop effective testing and control methods to limit the transmission of the disease.
"Canine influenza is a newly emerging disease that does not discriminate by breed or age," says Dr. Spindel. "The virus is easily transmitted between dogs housed in close contact with each other, and is especially problematic for animal shelters. This study seeks to address this vulnerable population.”
First identified as a respiratory pathogen in 2004, CIV has spread widely among dogs in the United States. The virus is transmitted in droplets created by coughing and sneezing, and other symptoms include fever, rapid breathing, loss of appetite and lethargy. With proper and timely treatment, the disease’s fatality rate is quite low.
"Not all dogs infected with CIV require therapeutic interventionmany recover well with just supportive care," Dr. Spindel explains. "However, in facilities like boarding kennels, doggie daycares and shelters, management can present challenges. It can be hard to break the cycle of infection once the disease is introduced, and while most dogs beat the infection within 10 to 30 days, some may develop potentially life-threatening secondary infections."
In addition to examining the spread of CIV among shelter dogs, the in-depth study will determine whether dogs can be tested for CIV prior to entering the main shelter population. It will also help determine how the virus changes over time, a process known as “genetic drift.” The study’s findings may ultimately aid in the development, improvement and use of vaccines to prevent the disease.
Read more about the ASPCA’s commitment to the well-being of all animals.
5. ASPCA Pet of the Week: Gentle Giant
Ready to make a commitment to a good-lookin’ cookie? Andre is an energetic, two-year-old Shepherd mix who was recently brought to our shelter when his pet parent was transferred by the U.S. Marines. A get-along dog, he still has his puppy spirit, and loves to run, leap, fetch, receive belly rubs and practice learning basic manners, especially when he’s rewarded with tasty treats.
Andre will likely thrive best in a single-dog household, andbecause of his sizewith older kids. He is a whole lotta pooch, but definitely a heartbreaker who will make an exceptional addition to any family with time, patience and a little bit of running room.
If you’re interested in adopting this handsome fella, please call our Animal Placement department at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4120. Or to view other animals looking for homes, visit our Adoption Center online.
****Got Facebook? Won’t you please donate your status to Andre? Just copy and paste the following message onto your profile status to help spread the word that this pooch needs a home!
[Name] is donating my status to Andre http://www.aspca.org/andre, a dog at the ASPCA who needs a new home.