- 1. NYC Block Party Celebrates Spay Day and “I Love NYC Pets” Month
- 2. ASPCA Pet of the Week: Baby, Baby, Baby
- 3. Missouri Legislature Moves to Weaken/Repeal Puppy Mill Reforms
- 4. ASPCA Happy Tails: Big Love
- 5. Breaking News: BLM Promises “New Chapter” for Nation’s Wild Horses
- 6. ASPCA Helps Rescue Hundreds of Dogs from Failed Ohio Sanctuary
1. NYC Block Party Celebrates Spay Day and “I Love NYC Pets” Month
On February 19, the ASPCA co-hosted a very special block party in Manhattan with the help of our friends at the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals and The Humane Society of the United States. The occasion was National Spay Day, which officially fell on February 22, and “I Love NYC Pets” Month, an annual, city-wide celebration of pets and the people who love them.
The day-long event, held at Sara D. Roosevelt Park, was an undeniable success and included sweepstakes and giveaways, a Kids’ Zone, adoptable pets and special appearances by animal experts and the stars of NYC’s latest reality program, Doggie Moms. But it wasn’t all fun and games. We had serious work to do—namely, spaying/neutering cats and dogs! We’re happy to say, mission accomplished—more than 100 animals were spayed/neutered during the party, and 90+ animals received free vaccinations and microchips.
Other highlights of the day included seven adoptable animals finding their forever homes and the distribution of 5,000 pounds of food to pet parents. Bummed you missed all the action? Not to worry, the ASPCA regularly hosts free events in the five boroughs—stay tuned to News Alert to find out about future block parties in your nabe!
To locate low-cost spay/neuter services in your area, please visit us at http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/spayneuter/.
2. ASPCA Pet of the Week: Baby, Baby, Baby
We don’t say this about a lot of Pit Bulls—especially male ones—but Lumiere looks smashing in a dress. At least, he really pulled off the look during our Sixth Annual “Best in Show” Talent Competition, in which he portrayed a baby girl. (We’re not kidding—check out some of his performance in the video below.) In addition to wowing everyone with his all-around cuteness, Lumiere drank from a bottle and listened to a bedtime story before an enthusiastic crowd.
Just another fun-filled day for 10-month-old Lumiere, who loves to play with people and dogs alike. This guy is full of puppy verve! In fact, he’ll probably always be an energetic fellow, so if you’ve fallen for Lumiere like we have and you want to take him home, be prepared to give him daily exercise and lots of other activity!
“Lumiere has been at the shelter for most of his life, patiently waiting for the right adopter to come along,” says Marny Nofi, ASPCA Assistant Behavior Manager. “A very smart dog, he is eager to please, especially if you have a treat or toy for him. He’d do best with an adopter who wants to continue working with him on basic commands—he already knows sit, down, and has a start on roll over!”
If you’re interested in adopting this young buck, please contact our Animal Placement department in New York City at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4120. To see other animals looking for homes, visit our Adoption Center online.
****Got Facebook? Won’t you please donate your status to Lumiere today? Just copy and paste the following message onto your profile status to help spread the word that this peppy little puppy needs a home!
[Name] is donating my status to Lumiere http://www.aspca.org/lumiere, a dog at the ASPCA who needs a new home.
3. Missouri Legislature Moves to Weaken/Repeal Puppy Mill Reforms
As our loyal readers know, the puppy mill reforms ushered in by Missouri’s Proposition B—arguably last year’s most significant legislative victory for America’s dogs—are in serious peril. Several state-level senators and representatives have made good on their promises to attempt to water down Prop B or repeal it entirely.
Proposition B, now known as the Missouri Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act (PMCPA), is slated to go into effect this November, and has national implications. It ensures that dogs at Missouri’s large-scale, commercial facilities, which supply more than 40 percent of dogs sold in pet stores around the country, receive basic, humane care. Missouri Senate Bill 113 threatens to wipe out all of the meaningful improvements outlined in the PMCPA, and could be voted on by the full Missouri Senate at any time. If passed, SB 113 would:
- Undo critical veterinary care requirements and replace them with old standards, which require only that a veterinarian visit a site but doesn’t require examination of even a single dog.
- Undo the requirement that dogs have constant access to water.
- Allow cages to be stacked on top of one another.
- Allow dogs to be kept in wire-floored cages only six inches longer than the dogs themselves.
- Give breeders up to 180 days to correct a violation, while the dogs continue to suffer.
- Allow breeders to keep as many breeding dogs as they want while lowering the standard of care required for those dogs.
The ASPCA is asking Missouri citizens to contact their state senators immediately to express their opposition to SB 113 and any effort to weaken or repeal the PMCPA. If you don’t live in Missouri but want to help, please spread the word by sharing this article via Facebook and Twitter.
4. ASPCA Happy Tails: Big Love
Throughout his 11 months at the ASPCA Adoption Center, Papa John stood out. Of course, that was partly due to his size—Papa John was known for his, er, cuddly figure. But Papa John also had a reputation for being exceptionally smart: Volunteers had to post a sign warning visitors to keep a sliding glass door locked because Papa John had figured out how to open it!
Though it took nearly a year for Papa John to find his forever home, it took just a few minutes for Mary Kenny and her roommate to fall in love with him. “He had an irresistible personality,” says Mary. “He was playful and excited to meet us.”
Mary had read about how two cats can keep each other entertained, so she was looking to adopt a perfect pair. Working with ASPCA volunteers to find a compatible buddy for Papa John, Mary met Oogie, who was snuggled up in a cat bed and invited her to scratch his ears.
Says Senior Feline Behavior Counselor Katie Watts: Papa John and Oogie “were in different habitats and had never met, but when I heard someone was interested in the two of them, I immediately thought it would be a perfect match. Both of them LOVE other cats and love to play.”
Everyone agreed: Oogie and Papa John were fated to go home with Mary. “It was a little nerve-wracking at first,” says Mary. “It took a few days for them to really relax, but once they did, their personalities really shone. Eventually, they banded together to explore the apartment!”
These days, Oogie and Papa John are having a ball in their new home. “They absolutely love to play. When they get going they are absolutely hilarious,” says Mary. “They go bounding from one side of the apartment to the other, chase after each other and wrestle. They wear each other out, they take a nap, and then they do it all over again.”
To read more adoption success stories, visit our Happy Tails archive.
5. Breaking News: BLM Promises “New Chapter” for Nation’s Wild Horses
On February 16, the U.S. House of Representatives approved an amendment to cut $2 million from the annual budget of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the agency that oversees the management of our country’s wild horses and burros. The amendment’s sponsor, Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN), had stated that the amendment intends to serve as a wake-up call to the BLM which, despite growing public outcry, has persisted in its policy of rounding up wild horses en masse and depositing them in long-term government holding centers, where their life-long care is funded by tax dollars.
On Thursday, February 24, the BLM made it known that it has received the message. The agency issued a news release outlining extensive proposed changes to its wild horse and burro program, including reducing the number of wild horses removed from the range for at least the next two years; increasing adoptions; significantly expanding the use of fertility control to maintain herd levels; and improving its care and handling procedures to enhance the humane treatment of the animals.
“We share a common goal to improve the wild horse and burro program and the health of the public lands we manage,” BLM Director Bob Abbey says in Thursday’s release. “Achieving this goal will require a determined focus on reform, new ideas, and opening a new chapter in the management of wild horses, burros, and our public lands.”
“The ASPCA looks forward to greater transparency in all aspects of the BLM’s wild horse program,” responds Matt Bershadker, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Anti-Cruelty. “We are encouraged that the BLM is taking the necessary steps to correct its inhumane and fiscally irresponsible policies before America’s wild horses are completely eradicated, but we want to remind the American public that more than 15,000 wild horses and burros are still slated to be rounded up over the next two years, adding to the tens of thousands of wild horses currently languishing in long-term holding pens.”
More details of the BLM’s proposed reforms will be available on the agency’s website on February 28, after which the public is invited to submit comments through March 30. Please visit the ASPCA’s Blog for more details on this exciting development.
6. ASPCA Helps Rescue Hundreds of Dogs from Failed Ohio Sanctuary
On Tuesday, February 22, the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team assisted in the removal of 349 living and 76 dead dogs from One More Chance Rescue and Adoption, a failed sanctuary and shelter near Springfield, Ohio. The dogs—many of whom are in critical condition and varying stages of illness—were found in former hog barns throughout the property, housed in stacked crates.
“The conditions these animals lived in were deplorable,” says James Staley, executive director of the Clark County Humane Society, who called the ASPCA for assistance with the dogs’ removal. “These dogs were forced to live in their own waste, alongside rats and other vermin. Add to that the stress of coping in a crowded and poorly ventilated environment, and you have animals whose overall health is severely compromised.”
Knowing that time was running out for the sickest dogs, the ASPCA, Clark County Humane Society and several other groups worked together to remove all the dogs from the property in just one day. The dogs were transferred to an emergency shelter in Franklin County, where they are being triaged by veterinarians from various groups including Ohio State University.
The process of bringing these dogs to safety began last week when local authorities inspected One More Chance, operated by Jeff Burgess, 56, and declared it a public nuisance. On Thursday, February 17, a search warrant was issued, and responders set to work constructing a shelter on Madison County fairgrounds. Unfortunately, Madison County officials later determined that sheltering could not occur on the fairgrounds, leaving responders scrambling to find a place to house the rescued dogs.
Undaunted, rescuers secured the fairground site in Franklin County and constructed a temporary shelter in record time.
The rescue on Tuesday was Burgess’ second run-in with authorities this month over animals in his care. Burgess managed a second shelter in Piqua, Ohio—also called One More Chance Rescue and Adoption—where 100 animals were confiscated earlier in February. Several criminal charges, including animal cruelty charges, were filed against Burgess in relation to that shelter.
“This is an example of a situation that spiraled out of control,” says Kyle Held, Midwest Director of Field Investigations and Response. “The shelter operator intended to save animals at risk of euthanasia, but did not have the resources or capacity to provide adequately for these animals.”
The ASPCA remains in Ohio to collect evidence for potential criminal charges and to assist in bringing care to the rescued dogs. Stay tuned to ASPCA.org for more information on this case.