Guest Blog by Kristen Limbert ASPCA Animal Relocation Manager
We're at it again! As part of our monthly transport program, the ASPCA just relocated 33 more dogs from Louisiana to New Jersey. In partnership with the Louisiana SPCA, AnimalWorks and St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center, we're able to bring a group of southern dogs to the Northeast, where they are more likely to get adopted—and we can do it every month!
A unique part of this transport is our partnership with AnimalWorks, a Tennessee spay/neuter group. Located at the trip's halfway point, it is the perfect pit stop. Our transport team is greeted by staff and volunteers, who help us offload all the dogs, as well as walk and play with them, giving them a nice reprieve from the cages on the truck.
Vets and vet students are also on hand to provide quick medical exams—checking for any signs of illness, injury or stress that would preclude a dog from making the rest of the journey. So far, all the dogs have handled the trip beautifully!
We have no doubt that this group of canines will find loving homes just as quickly as our April batch did—and we sure are happy help give them that chance.
It's a bird. It's a plane. No…it's a Hover Cat! Special thanks to ABC's Good Morning America anchor Dan Harris for making a soon-to-be-viral YouTube video that features adoptable pets. The video also stars Dan's adopted cat, George, whose incredible talents spring to life as soon as Dan leaves for work. This cat seriously knows how to keep a beat!
While the cuteness can't be ignored, neither can the video's ultimate message: Adopting a pet is awesome! So go ahead, take a peek…and be sure to share! It's a great way to encourage more folks to adopt.
The nearly 300 million egg-laying hens in our country live in cages that afford each hen just 67 square inches of space—smaller than a sheet of paper. That’s outrageous!
Last year, a bipartisan group of U.S. representatives introduced a bill in the House promising egg-laying hens better living conditions. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), along with senators from both sides of the aisle, recently introduced a companion measure in the Senate. This important bill needs your support!
The Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2012 would increase the amount of space given to laying hens (they’re currently so cramped that most cannot even stretch their wings), and allow them to do some of the things chickens love doing: perching, dust-bathing and nesting. Plus, various inhumane practices would be banned. This is a major step forward! The bill would also require that egg cartons disclose the standards under which the eggs were produced so consumers know what they’re buying.
Take Action! This bill is a common-sense measure supported by the United Egg Producers, the American Veterinary Medical Association and various consumer and animal welfare groups, including the ASPCA. And right now, our nation’s hens need your support, too. Please contact your senators today and ask them to co-sponsor S. 3239 to provide better lives for egg-laying hens!
Finally! Ohio Governor John Kasich has signed the Dangerous Wild Animal Act into law. The Ohio House of Representatives passed the bill 87-9 on May 22, and the Ohio Senate passed it 30-1 in April. With the Ohio governor’s signature, only six states——Alabama, Nevada, North Carolina, West Virginia, South Carolina and Wisconsin—have little to no restrictions on the private possession of dangerous wild animals.
The bill comes into law about seven months after 56 exotic animals—including lions, tigers, wolves and bears—escaped a Zanesville, Ohio farm. The farm's owner, Terry Thompson, reportedly freed the animals before committing suicide. Nearly all the animals were shot dead as they roamed the city streets.
"We commend Governor Kasich for recognizing the need to regulate dangerous exotic animals and ensuring the safety of Ohio residents, as well as the health and well-being of wild animals kept as pets," says Nancy Perry, ASPCA Senior Vice President of Government Relations.
The new law will:
Ban new ownership of dangerous wild animals, including big cats, some smaller exotic cats, bears, hyenas, gray wolves, non-human primate species, alligators and crocodiles in Ohio;
Grandfather in existing animals so people who currently have them can keep them, as long as they obtain a permit;
Require owners of exotic animals covered under the grandfather clause to acquire liability insurance or surety bonds ranging from $200,000 to $1 million;
Require existing owners of exotic animals to comply with housing and safety standards to be established by the Ohio Department of Agriculture; and
Require owners of existing exotic animals to pass criminal background checks to qualify for a permit.
Guest blog post from Nancy Perry, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Government Relations
Last month, I told you about soring in the Tennessee walking horse industry and the illegal infliction of pain on the feet of horses using chemicals and devices to create an exaggerated gait. We have raised this cruelty crisis with high level officials and urged the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide stronger regulation of this abusive industry. In recent weeks, we've redoubled our efforts to push for change, and we are starting to see a response.
New rules released today by the USDA take an important step toward eliminating these unethical and cruel practices. The rules make it mandatory for the industry groups responsible for monitoring shows to issue fines and suspensions to those caught soring horses. We applaud this move because we know that mandatory fines send a signal to trainers who profit from torturing horses that their abuse will no longer be treated as business as usual.
What Else is Needed to Stop This Cruelty? Many horse advocates and USDA's own Inspector General all agree that self-inspection won’t get the job done. Violations must be uncovered in order for fines and suspensions to occur. Industry oversight doesn't work and continuing a system of industry self-policing is likely to perpetuate the same problems. The facts speak for themselves: Even though USDA inspectors attended only 8 to 10% of shows in 2011, they found over halfof all violations reported. We cannot rely on the industry to report its own misdeeds.
While the new rules are a true sign of progress and deliver a clear message that violations will not to be tolerated, industry self-regulation is not the long-term solution. It's time for Congress to finally take the power out of the hands of criminals.Join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade to use your voice for these underprotected animals.