It’s about time. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced its intention to ban the slaughter of veal calves who are too sick, injured or weak to stand.
Many experts believe “downer” adult cattle are at higher risk of having Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease. For that reason, the USDA has already banned the slaughter of adult downer cattle, requiring that they be promptly and humanely euthanized. However, downercalves may be kept alive indefinitely in slaughter facility pens, leaving them vulnerable to cruel mistreatment.
“This decision should close a loophole that has allowed sick calves to be roughly handled, neglected and left to suffer,” says Suzanne McMillan, ASPCA Director of Farm Animal Welfare.“We hope the agency will enact these changes quickly to protect calves and consumers.”
Nearly 700,000 veal calves are slaughtered annually in the U.S.—many are under three weeks of age.
While the USDA has committed to changing its policy on downer calf slaughter, the agency still needs to issue a new rule to formalize the change and put it into effect.
Take Action! Please tell the USDA to prioritize protecting calves from cruelty. Email U.S. Agriculture Secretary Vilsack and Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) Administrator Almanza today and urge them to change regulations on downer calves immediately.
The ASPCA is currently on the ground in multiple states assisting the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the United States Attorney’s Office in a federal dog fighting raid spanning Texas, Missouri and Kansas. Nearly 100 dogs have been transported to a temporary shelter in an undisclosed location, where they are receiving veterinary care.
A search warrant was executed Saturday night in Kansas, after the FBI raided a contract dog fight in north Texas. Two additional warrants were served Sunday morning for the removal of the dogs in Missouri.
Ashley Bell, the star of the new horror thriller “The Last Exorcism Part II,” recently took some time from her busy schedule to tour the ASPCA Adoption Center in New York City. A lifelong animal lover, Ashley grew up with 11 rescued pets and is the proud pet parent of Harrison—a sweet kitty who was once abandoned on someone’s doorstep.
During her visit, Ashley just couldn’t get enough of our adorable, adoptable pets—she snuggled with a Husky named Skylar and shared kisses with Roxie, a Pit Bull puppy.
“I just love how the ASPCA provides an intermediary home and care for these rescued pets. The facility here is impeccable, and the staff provides great treatment for the animals,” says Bell.
While affectionately interacting with some seriously cute pooches, Ashley talked about the importance of families spaying and neutering their furry companions and encouraged potential parents to make adoption their first option. “Puppy mills are crowded and cruel places. Consider rescuing a purebred, but remember that [these adorable] mutts need homes, too.”
We absolutely loved having Ashley at our Adoption Center, and we hope she continues to spread her passion for pet adoption and animal welfare.
Earlier this year, the ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement department received a tip that a New York City woman was living with a large number of dogs. When Agents arrived at the woman’s home, they found more than 50 Dachshund adults and puppies.
A team of five professionals that includes a social worker and case worker, CIA aims to stop cruelty before it starts. A large part of the team’s work is intervening in hoarding situations to assist both the animals and the people involved. CIA’s groundbreaking, holistic approach to these complex and sensitive cases both improves the welfare of animals affected and helps prevent hoarders from acquiring more animals.
Participation as a CIA client is voluntary, so it’s essential that the team ensure clients feel comfortable asking for assistance. In this case, says CIA Director Allison Cardona, “the owner had reached a point where she was very overwhelmed by continuous litters and wanted help—initially just for spay/neuter—but as we engaged with her and established a relationship, she admitted to being overwhelmed by the number and expressed interest in giving some of the dogs up for adoption.”
The client agreed to initially surrender 21 dogs. “Despite her desire to reduce the population, it's still very hard for her to part with the animals, and it's a slow process,” Cardona notes.
All 55 dogs received spay/neuter services, wellness checks, vaccinations and other veterinary care as needed from an ASPCA Mobile Spay/Neuter Clinic, the ASPCA Animal Hospital and our partner veterinarians. Some of the adult dogs will receive ongoing behavioral treatment from ASPCA behaviorists. Fourteen of the Doxies surrendered were puppies who headed to the ASPCA Adoption Center to start their new lives. There, they were spayed and neutered, received treatment for infection, and soaked up lots of socialization. Soon after they became available for adoption, of course, the puppies were quickly snapped up by qualified families.
In the coming weeks, the very grateful owner will surrender another wave of dogs, and the CIA program will continue to work with her to ensure the welfare of her animals.
“Our cases stay open for as long as is needed,” says Cardona. “We form lasting relationships and continue to check in and provide services beyond the initial intervention.”
Stay tuned to the ASPCA blog for more information on this case, including photos of the puppies in their new homes. For now, we hope you enjoy these happy adoption pictures of some of the rescued puppies starting their new lives. We sure did!