Guest blog by Deborah Dubow Press, Regulatory Affairs Manager, ASPCA Government Relations
The ASPCA believes that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The more prepared animal facilities are for emergencies, the better responders, like the ASPCA, can stretch our resources and focus our relief efforts when disaster strikes.
That’s why today we applaud the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) new regulation requiring all facilities licensed under the federal Animal Welfare Act—this includes breeders, zoos, research facilities, dealers, and other exhibitors and intermediate handlers—to prepare emergency plans for protecting and caring for animals during disaster.
While the ASPCA will always provide zealous and expert response to imperiled animals, we believe that animal-related businesses should be prepared to protect their animals in emergency situations. Given the tireless efforts of theASPCA’s FIR Teamand other first responders, mandatory emergency planning is a small thing to ask and a reasonable cost of doing business.
We are hopeful that this new regulation will prevent animals from being harmed during man-made and natural disasters alike. To learn about establishing an emergency plan for your own pets, please visit our Disaster Preparedness page.
Because of you, we were able to accomplish so much for abused and homeless animals this year. From shutting down dog fighting rings and puppy mills to deploying widespread disaster relief, your support has allowed us to improve the lives of countless animals across the country.
We are grateful for and humbled by your unwavering commitment to animals. This short video is a thank you for all of the work you make possible—please enjoy it.
From our family to yours, have a healthy, happy new year.
Here’s what Briana was dealing with when she came to us: starvation, dehydration, flea infestation and, perhaps most horrifying, a deep neck wound from a collar left on so long it became embedded in her flesh.
Briana recovered beautifully over several months, revealing herself to be a mellow, soulful lady who loves to play with toys and receive attention from people.
Know anyone who’d be interested in ringing in the new year with a loyal companion like Briana? Check out her page for more info.
This resilient, amazing pup deserves to learn what a loving home is like.
There’s nothing like starting off the New Year looking your best, and our awesome new app makes that easy for your pets.
Using our Happy Near Year app, you can design a goofy card featuring your pet! Just upload a photo of your furry pal, then drag and drop some festive accessories like a party hat or pearl necklace. Share the image with your friends and wish them a happy New Year!
It’s super easy and super fun. Besides, we bet your cat will look awesome with a mustache and top hat.
Guest blog by Ann Church, Vice President of State Affairs, ASPCA Government Relations
Thanks to the support of animal advocates like you, the ASPCA’s Government Relations team was able to expand greatly this year, increasing our ability to fight for better laws for animals in all 50 states. As 2012 draws to a close, it’s the perfect time to reflect on some of this year’s legislative accomplishments on behalf of animals. Here is a small sampling of state-level victories that the ASPCA and our mighty Advocacy Brigade helped secure in 2012:
California—“Hounding” of Wildlife California has banned hounding, a form of trophy hunting in which radio-collared dogs are released in forests to chase and tree bears and bobcats.
Idaho—Felony Cruelty 2012 will be remembered as the year that Idaho, a long-time holdout, finally enacted a law making animal torture a felony offense. The state made cockfighting a felony as well.
Massachusetts—Animal Control Reform Among other achievements, this far-reaching, comprehensive new law creates a statewide spay/neuter program, prohibits breed-specific legislation, places restrictions on outdoor tethering, and allows pets to be included in domestic violence-related protection orders.
New Jersey—Horse Slaughter New Jersey banned the slaughter of horses for human consumption as well as their transport through the state—a very meaningful provision, given the continued problem of export of horses over the border for slaughter.
Ohio—Exotic Pet Ownership and Puppy Mill Regulations Ohio’s Dangerous Wild Animal Act passed seven months after 56 exotic animals were released by their owner. (Most were killed.) Ohio was one of only a handful of states with virtually no regulations on wild/exotic animal pet ownership. In addition, the state passed its first-ever puppy mill law, which sets standards of care and requires annual inspections.
Tennessee—Felony Cruelty to Livestock While most states exempt farm animals from their animal cruelty statues, Tennessee became one of the first to make extreme acts of cruelty to livestock subject to felony-level penalties.
It’s important to remember that these victories, as well as the countless others, could not have been achieved without collaboration among state legislators and humane advocacy groups. Let’s all continue to champion stronger laws protecting our nation’s animals and make 2013 an even better year!