On September 21, the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team in conjunction with the Humane Society of Missouri (HSMO) removed 71 dogs from an overrun puppy mill in Camden County, MO. The dogs—which include Dachshunds, Maltese, Shih Tzus, Lhasa Apsos, Huskies and Boxers—were transferred to the Humane Society of Southwest Missouri in Springfield and HSMO in St. Louis, where they received medical treatment and will be cared for until they're ready for adoption.
"This case was unique in that the dogs were voluntarily relinquished by the kennel owner who could no longer afford to feed them," explains Tim Rickey, ASPCA Senior Director of Field Investigations and Response. Last week the mill owner contacted a local rescue group, Half-way Home Pet Rescue in Cedar County, for help, and Half-way Home then reached out to the ASPCA.
"When breeders are no longer able to care for their animals, the problem lands squarely on the shoulders of local shelters," says Half-way Home's Latisha Duffy, who works closely with breeders in Missouri to find homes for retired breeding dogs.
Known as the "Puppy Mill Capital of America," Missouri is home to more than 3,000 commercial dog breeding facilities and provides more than 40 percent of all dogs sold in pet stores nationwide. "We see some of the worst conditions in Missouri puppy mills," explains Rickey. "The dogs, often very ill, are forced to live in overcrowded, filthy conditions."
In an effort to end the many cruelties associated with puppy mills, the ASPCA, a founding member of Missourians for the Protection of Dogs/YES! on Prop. B, is supporting Proposition B, also known as the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act. This landmark measure, which will appear on Missouri's November ballot, promotes the humane treatment of dogs in the state's large-scale commercial dog kennels. If passed, Prop B would limit the number of breeding dogs to 50 per facility, and would require large-scale breeders to provide sufficient food, water and space for the animals under their care.
For its latest music video, the popular band OK Go employed the services of some very cute co-stars. The video for “White Knuckles” features several rescue dogs, who perform alongside the band members in a carefully choreographed routine. To further show its appreciation of rescue dogs, OK Go is generously donating a portion of the sale of the video on its website to the ASPCA! Check out the video below, and help us send a big THANKS to OK Go!
The wait is officially over: The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption by Jim Gorant, an in-depth look behind the scenes of the Michael Vick case and “where are they now” account of the dogs rescued from his property, hit bookshelves nationwide on September 16. The Lost Dogs can be purchased at your local bookstore and through online retailers including Amazon.com. (Tip: If you purchase the book on Amazon.com using this link, the ASPCA will receive a small donation at no extra cost to you!)
Naturally, the ASPCA is excited about this book because of our firsthand involvement in the investigation—but having gotten our hands on an early copy, we’re very happy to report that it is a terrific, compelling read for anyone interested in animal welfare, canine behavior, the evolution of animal protection laws or our country’s criminal justice system.
Last month, we showed you where to get an advance look at the book on Parade magazine’s website. That article proved so popular with readers that Parade enlisted the ASPCA’s Pam Reid, Ph.D., CAAB, Vice President of the ASPCA Animal Behavior Center, to pen a follow-up piece called “Top 5 Myths about Pit Bulls” that addresses the most common perceptions—and misperceptions—about this maligned and misunderstood breed.
Pick up or order a copy of The Lost Dogs for yourself or the animal lover in your life! To learn more about the book and see videos of the featured dogs, please visit author Jim Gorant’s website, www.thelostdogsbook.com.
While we always hope for an uneventful storm season, we know all too well that disasters, such as hurricanes, tornadoes or even wildfires, can strike quickly—and with little or no warning. At the ASPCA, we believe planning ahead is key to keeping you and your pets protected if disaster should strike. With your safety in mind, we have teamed up with Ready New York, a city-sponsored educational campaign designed to encourage New York City residents to prepare for emergencies based on three guiding principles: knowing the hazards, making a household disaster plan and stocking emergency supplies. Pets are part of the family, too, and this event will teach pet parents how to prepare for all types of emergency situations.
Bring Your Pet and Prepare! The ASPCA, along with participating organizations including, the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the American Red Cross, will join Ready New York in hosting a collaborative community event to help prepare pet parents for emergency situations.
When: Thursday September 16, 2:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M.
Where: Union Square Park
Meet and greet members of the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team
Tour our state-of-the-art Animal Rescue Transport Trailer
Free Pet Go-Bag demonstrations and giveaways each hour from NYC VERT
Free pet CPR demonstrations from the American Red Cross
Low-cost microchipping offered by the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals
For more information on disaster preparedness, visit www.aspca.org
A search warrant was executed Tuesday morning for the removal of 676 fighting roosters, hens and chicks from two separate properties in Fort Myers, Florida. The ASPCA, at the request of the Lee County Sheriff's Office and Lee County Domestic Animal Services, is on hand to assist with the removal of the birds, which were voluntarily relinquished by their owners, and to collect forensic evidence for the investigation of a criminal case.
The seizure is the result of an eight-month-long investigation that is still ongoing, according to the Lee County Sheriff's Office. Many of the roosters were allegedly being raised and prepared for fighting, when such birds commonly suffer from punctured lungs, broken bones and pierced eyes, and are fitted with knives and artificial gaffs—long, sharp, dagger-like attachments—to maximize injury.
"Cockfighting is a violent blood sport where the participants—the roosters—don't have choices," said Tim Rickey, the ASPCA Senior Director, Field Investigations and Response. "These birds are forced to be killing machines for entertainment, during which time they die or are left to die a horrible death."