Guest blog post by Nancy Perry, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Government Relations.
Recently, we received word of a tragic story from Oregon in which a family’s beloved dog was strangled to death by a heavy-duty trap left by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services division. This little-known federal agency uses tax dollars to kill wildlife species that homeowners and ranchers consider to be problematic or nuisances. Unattended traps and poisons—and even helicopter hunting—are all routine features of Wildlife Services’ campaign to kill wildlife. Their work is often carried out without oversight or public notification, and as the event in Oregon shows, can have heartbreaking results.
Doug and Denise McCurtain found their seven-year old Border Collie, Maggie, caught in a Conibear trap set by Wildlife Services to kill nutria (a small, non-native wild animal) in their neighborhood. This trap, which is designed to break the neck and strangle an animal, was placed less than 50 feet from their backyard, near a pond where children and pets often play. The McCurtains’ homeowners’ association notified them that traps would be set, but the McCurtains were not informed that such a dangerous trap would be used on land, or that an unmarked trap would be placed so close to their home.
Unfortunately, Maggie’s case isn’t the first time a family pet has been killed by Wildlife Services. Tragedies like this happen all too often. Earlier this year, a beloved family dog in Texas named Bella was poisoned by an unmarked explosive device left by Wildlife Services containing sodium cyanide.
U.S. Wildlife Services must do more to prevent tragedies like these. Better notification of the dangers in the community could have spared Maggie’s life. As long as Wildlife Services continues to use lethal means to manage wildlife, the agency places our pets at risk and causes terrible suffering and death to thousands of wild animals each year. If this disturbs you, we urge you to contact your U.S. senators and representative and ask them to stop spending your tax dollars on dangerous programs to kill wildlife.
It’s time to deck the halls…and hit the roads! For many of us, it’s just not the holidays without our pets and there’s no question we’re bringing them to all the family celebrations—even if those festivities are 1,000 miles from home.
According to the 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey (conducted by the American Pet Products Association), the number of pet parents who bring Fido on the road is steadily increasing. And the holidays are no exception!
Looking for the perfect gift for a fellow animal-lover? By giving an ASPCA Symbolic Gift, you can honor your loved ones’ passion for animals by doing good in their names. It’s a gift that has real meaning and affects the lives of animals in need. How does it work? Simple:
2. Your loved one or friend receives an ASPCA Greeting Card, Certificate of Appreciation and, with select gifts, an ASPCA portable pet bowl, cat collar or horse pin. Ta-da! With a few clicks of the mouse, you’ve given a meaningful and personal gift AND helped save animals’ lives. (You’re amazing!)
3. Congrats! You just gave the perfect gift. The ASPCA will use your generous donation to continue our critical mission. There’s no better feeling than knowing you just made a difference, and by giving ASPCA Symbolic Gifts, you can share that feeling with your friends and loved ones.
The holidays are a popular time to bring home a new pet—and for animals in shelters, getting a real home is the best gift ever. But listen up, potential pet parents: Bringing home a new furry friend is also a serious commitment.
To help would-be adopters, the ASPCA Adoption Center has prepared a special video explaining the do’s and don’ts of holiday pet adoption.
Just remember, surprises are wonderful, but never give a pet as a gift. See if your shelter has a gift-certificate instead!
Looking for some fun, effective ways you can make a difference for animals? Here are six ideas:
Volunteer for animals in your community Bring some holiday cheer to homeless animals in your community by volunteering at a local shelter. Learn more.
Do your holiday shopping at the ASPCA Online Store Stuff their stockings with our unique apparel, pet care items and books—many items are customizable. Shop now!
Enough stuff? Give the gift of helping animals! Perfect for everyone on your list, our new Symbolic Gifts allow you to donate on behalf of friends and family to the ASPCA program area most meaningful to them.
Support our “Orange Buy” corporate partners From flowers by Teleflora to Morton Salt’s pet-friendly ice melts, there are shopping deals to be had that carry the added bonus of benefitting the ASPCA!
Donate your car You can donate your old car, truck, RV or boat—in any condition and from any location—to the ASPCA and enjoy a tidy tax deduction.
Join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade Fight to get strong anti-cruelty laws passed on federal, state and local levels as a member of the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade.