- 1. Two Men Sentenced After Georgia Dog Fighting Raid
- 2. Join Team ASPCA for the NYC Half-Marathon and Five Boro Bike Tour!
- 3. New York City Council Considers Two Pet-Friendly Bills
- 4. ASPCA Pet of the Week: Spirit Animal
- 5. Is Your Pet Misbehavin’? Visit our Virtual Behaviorist!
- 6. ASPCA Happy Tails: Have Home, Will Travel
1. Two Men Sentenced After Georgia Dog Fighting Raid
Almost a year ago, members of the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response (FIR) Team traveled to Sandersville, Georgia, to assist the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in rescuing 26 abused and neglected Pit Bulls from an underground dog fighting operation. We are happy to report that the court case has concluded and justice has been served: On Wednesday, January 5, the two men responsible were convicted of animal cruelty and sentenced to time behind bars.
Following a three-day trial, Derrick Montez Daniels and Billy Taylor Jr. were each convicted of 26 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty. Daniels, the dogs’ owner, was sentenced to five years in state prison and five years of probation, while Taylor, who lived on the property and was the dogs’ caretaker, was sentenced to one year in county jail and nine years of probation.
“The defendants were held accountable for the pain and suffering they caused these innocent animals,” says Tim Rickey, ASPCA Senior Director of Field Investigations and Response and leader of the February rescue operation.
When the ASPCA arrived at the scene of the dog fighting raid, we found dogs tethered outdoors with heavy chains, shivering in the freezing cold. All were emaciated and showed signs of severe neglect and untreated injuries, including broken bones, open wounds and infections. The responders also found the bodies of 27 dogs in various stages of decomposition.
“These dogs were not only starved of food and affection, but used to breed and fight each other to the death," says Rickey. "It's encouraging to start off the year with two successful animal cruelty convictions and send a clear message that animal abuse will not be tolerated.”
To support the ASPCA and see how we’re taking on animal fighters around the country, visit the Raids and Investigations/Blood Sports page at ASPCA.org.
2. Join Team ASPCA for the NYC Half-Marathon and Five Boro Bike Tour!
What could be better motivation to train hard than knowing that each workout helps save animals’ lives?
This spring you can make a difference for animals and cross the finish line at the NYC Half-Marathon or the TD Bank Five Boro Bike Tour with Team ASPCA, our new endurance training and fundraising program.
Through the program, you’ll experience iconic New York City sites like Times Square, Central Park, the picturesque Brooklyn waterfront and Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island—on foot or by bicycle—all while supporting the ASPCA’s critical animal welfare work.
As a member of Team ASPCA, you’ll receive guaranteed entry to the event of your choosing, professional marathon or cycling training by coaches at Terrier Tri, official Team ASPCA gear and much more! With Team ASPCA, you can train to complete something you may never have thought possible while improving the lives of animals.
Space is limited, so don't get left behind! Apply today to be a part of Team ASPCA’s inaugural season and participate in the half-marathon on March 20, and/or the bike tour on May 1. For additional information, please visit www.teamaspca.org, or call (866) 661-ASPCA to receive an application.
If you want to support the team but can’t participate in the endurance events, you can help by attending one of our upcoming Team ASPCA National Fundraising Days!
3. New York City Council Considers Two Pet-Friendly Bills
Good news, Big Apple animal lovers! The New York City Council appears poised to pass several pet-friendly bills in 2011. Two bills making progress are Intro. 328, related to dog licensing, and Intro. 425, related to dog tethering. The New York City Council Health Committee, chaired by Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo, held a hearing on the two bills on December 17, at which a five-member ASPCA panel gave testimony and answered questions posed by committee members.
Intro. 425, introduced by Council Member Peter Vallone Jr., would ban the outdoor tethering of a pet for longer than three hours in any continuous 12-hour period. New York City currently has no restrictions on tethering. The ASPCA’s testimony included photographs illustrating the dangers of long-term and irresponsible tethering, and as the hearing drew to a close, Chairwoman Arroyo pledged her support to passing a tethering bill in the near future.
Sponsored by Council Member Jessica Lappin, Intro. 328 would increase NYC’s annual dog licensing fee for unaltered pet dogs. It currently costs $8.50 to license a dog who is spayed or neutered, and $11.50 to license one who is not. If this measure passes, the $8.50 fee will remain, but the annual fee to license an unaltered dog would become $34.00—out of which $25.50 would go to the city’s new Animal Population Control Fund. In addition to fighting pet overpopulation, it is hoped that the higher fee will encourage more NYC pet parents to spay/neuter their dogs.
The ASPCA was represented at the hearing by Ed Sayres, President & CEO; Dr. Robert Reisman, Medical Coordinator of Animal Cruelty Cases; Dr. Stephen Zawistowski, Science Advisor; Dr. Katherine Miller, Director of Applied Science and Research; and Michelle Villagomez, Senior Manager for NYC Advocacy.
To stay up to date on legislative activity in your area and in U.S. Congress, please sign up to receive our Advocacy Alerts.
4. ASPCA Pet of the Week: Spirit Animal
In October 2010, an ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Agent rescued Hennessy from a Staten Island home where she was tethered and starved. When this sweet Pit Bull arrived at ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital, she was so underweight that she could barely lift her head.
Thanks to lots of care from ASPCA veterinarians, Hennessy was able to fully recover, gaining 92 percent of her body weight! She is now ready to make her debut as an adoptable dog and show the world what she has to offer: a lot of spirit and tons of affection.
“I love Hennessy!” says Victoria Wells, Senior Manager of Behavior and Training at the ASPCA Adoption Center. When Hennessy was released from the hospital, “she was very scared of new people and places because she was so undersocialized.” But after a little exposure to the outdoors and to new people, “she started to understand these places and people were not so scary after all. She is now very outgoing and loves to play with toys and go for walks.”
Hennessy needs a patient, experienced pet parent to teach her manners, and she’d do best in a home without children. She also needs lots of daily exercise to burn off some of her boundless energy—but who could blame her for bursting with enthusiasm? As Victoria says, “she is just happy to be out of the hospital, healthy and receiving lots of attention.”
If you’re interested in adopting the resilient and lovely Hennessy, 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 Hennessy? 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 Hennessy http://www.aspca.org/hennessy, a dog at the ASPCA who needs a new home.
5. Is Your Pet Misbehavin’? Visit our Virtual Behaviorist!
Does your dog act destructive when left alone? Has your cat stopped using his litter box? Never fear, the ASPCA is here! Our Virtual Pet Behaviorist is open 24 hours a day and provides ASPCA expert-approved solutions to common—and not-so-common—behavior issues. Oh, did we mention it’s free!?
Our nationally recognized team of behaviorists provides answers to diverse issues, including barking, digging, scratching and marking. They even provide advice for horse parents! Simply type your pet's behavior problem into our easy-to-use database, and you'll receive step-by-step advice without ever leaving your computer or shelling out big bucks for a behaviorist’s house call.
Our Virtual Behaviorist also offers detailed explanations to help you understand the root of your pet’s misbehavior and avoid future flare-ups down the road. So get typing—the doctor is in, and a harmonious future awaits you and your four-legged friend!
6. ASPCA Happy Tails: Have Home, Will Travel
When Sarah Bittner visited New York City in November 2010, she brought home a unique souvenir: a brand-new feline companion. Sarah tells us the story of how she found her dream kitty at the ASPCA Adoption Center—a 450-mile drive from her home in Kent, Ohio.
“My roommate and I are from Ohio and stumbled upon your Adoption Center because we were staying in the hotel next door,” Sarah tells the ASPCA. “We had been talking about adopting a cat for some time, and absolutely fell in love with Lovely, a handsome white cat. The next day we decided we wanted to adopt him.”
Sarah adopted Lovely, a two-year-old Angora mix, and only one thing stood in the way of bringing him home—a three-state drive. Anyone who’s traveled with a cat knows that it can be, well, challenging for all involved, but Sarah was thrilled to find Lovely handled the car ride like a pro. “He is quite the tourist,” she says.
These days, Lovely is settling in nicely in the Buckeye State, even making friends and snuggling with Sarah’s dog, Foxy. “Lovely is a pleasure to have around the house,” Sarah says, noting that his kitty comforts have been in high demand lately. “My fiancé is in the Army, and he recently left for Afghanistan and will be gone until June,” Sarah says. “Lovely is doing a great job keeping me company and my spirits up!”
See our Happy Tails archive for more heartwarming stories of furry fate.