Do you know any Shih Tzus or Yorkies? How about a dog named Bella or Lucky? Chances are good that you do if you live in NYC. New York public radio station WNYC has created a really cool map detailing the most popular dog breeds and names in the Big Apple, neighborhood by neighborhood.
Examining dog licensing records for almost 100,000 dogs, WNYC found the most common pooch on the street is a mixed-breed named either Max or Bella.
While the map is super cool for finding the most common dogs in each NYC neighborhood, the data it uses—provided by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which runs the dog licensing program—also reveals a sad fact: Only one in five dogs in NYC is licensed.
So, what’s the big deal? Well, not only is it illegal to have an unlicensed dog in the city, but licensing helps reunite lost dogs with their pet parents and assists with medical follow-ups for individuals potentially exposed to infected dogs. Plus, the proceeds from registration fees help support New York City’s Animal Care & Control (AC&C).
“If the city encouraged and enforced dog licensing, we would be able to raise more revenue for animals in need,” says Michelle Villagomez, the ASPCA’s NYC Legislative Director.
According to the 2009-2010 American Pet Product Manufacturers Survey, if 50% of NYC dogs were licensed, the City could raise approximately $3.7 million to help animals.
“A well-funded animal population control program would likely reduce the number of dogs and cats euthanized and reduce potential threats to public health and safety,” says Villagomez.
The license fee is $8.50 for an altered dog and $34 for an unaltered dog. The surcharge of $25.50 for unaltered dogs goes to the City Animal Population Control Fund to help AC&C implement a population control program.
Sanchez, who harbored 50 dogs in a Bronx apartment building basement, was arrested in June and indicted in July on multiple charges related to animal fighting, aggravated cruelty to animals, and possession of a weapon. He faces one to three years in prison. If granted parole, Sanchez would be prohibited from owning animals during the length of his parole. He could also face deportation to his native Cuba after his sentence is served.
We’re working nonstop to combat the cruel practice of animal fighting nationwide, and we’re making progress. Earlier this week, legislators reintroduced the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, which would make it a federal offense to attend an organized animal fight and would impose additional penalties for bringing a minor to an animal fight.
If ever there was a dog whose prospects looked grim, it was Carson the Shih Tzu. Two years ago, when the three-year-old breeding dog was rescued from a puppy mill in central Minnesota, Carson’s face and underweight body were completely overwhelmed by huge mats of hair, urine and feces. When his rescuers bathed him, they discovered that his eyes had been eaten away by infection. There was nothing left to save: His eye sockets were cleaned out and his lids sewn shut.
Jessica Danielson was on Petfinder.com seeking a companion for her senior pooch Diesel, and although she wasn’t looking for a challenge, she was drawn to Carson’s posting. “I knew I could give him everything he needed. God put him right there and said ‘This is the one. He needs you.’ When I called the rescue to set up a meeting, Carson’s foster mom almost started crying because she thought he’d never find a home.”
“It took almost a year before he would trust me enough to cuddle me, kiss my face, and just feel safe enough to wander the house,” remembers Jessica. In spite of his rough start, Carson is now a very loving and affectionate boy who has taught his new mom, in her words, about “survival, trust, and the real meaning of love!”
Carson’s impact on Jessica doesn’t end there. Now in love with the breed, she went on to adopt two more rescued Shih Tzus—Ernie and Mr. Wiggles—and became a volunteer foster mom for special-needs dogs through Ruff Start Rescue.
Did you adopt a puppy mill dog? Tell us your story by emailing [email protected]. And remember, never buy a puppy in a pet store or online—they almost always come from puppy mills. While a pet store puppy may be hard to resist, purchasing one dooms his parents, dogs like Carson, to lives of cruelty, filth and neglect.
Visit NoPetStorePuppies.com to learn more and take the pledge not to buy anything at pet stores or on websites that sell puppies.
Great news, animal advocates! Yesterday U.S. Reps. Tom Marino (R-PA), Jim McGovern (D-MA), John Campbell (R-CA) and Jim Moran (D-VA) reintroduced the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, an ASPCA-supported bill to strengthen our federal laws against animal fighting.
While it’s already a federal crime to actively participate in an animal fight, it’s the spectators who drive the enterprise and make it profitable. This bill would make it a federal offense to attend an organized animal fight and impose additional penalties for bringing a child to a fight.
The Senate passed this bill in the previous Congress, but even with over half the House in support, Congress was unable to pass a final bill. Reintroducing this bill in the early days of the new Congress gives us an opportunity to build on the momentum from the last Congress and help finally close the federal loophole for animal fighting spectators.
Ask your own House representative to support this important humane legislation! Visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center right now to quickly email your U.S. rep in Washington and urge him or her to cosponsor the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act.