As we approach the six-year anniversary of Michael Vick’s arrest, we’re reminded of just how much work we still have to do to stamp out dog fighting forever. For the dogs still trapped in fighting rings, our work to end blood sports has never been so urgent.
Here are just some of the realities of life as a dog-fighting victim:
• Tethered to short, heavy chains or locked away in tiny cages, the dogs often receive inadequate care and little socialization. • They can go for days without food or clean water. • When dog-fighting dogs are old enough to fight, many die of blood loss, shock and exhaustion. • Losing dogs are sometimes killed right on the spot for their failure to secure a win for their owners. • Even when they’re lucky enough to be rescued, dog-fighting victims face a difficult path to physical and emotional recovery. Despite the best efforts of expert rehabilitators, not all dogs rescued from fighting will heal.
Wendy Kling shared her story of taking a chance on a special needs dog named Nemo at the ASPCA Adoption Center, just in time for Christmas.
It has been more than one year since we welcomed Nemo into our home on Christmas Eve. He had an interesting journey here, beginning with my husband spotting him one morning on Fox News wearing a little red jacket asking to be adopted. He called me in to take a look and, after realizing Nemo was missing a back leg, I thought, "Would we really be able to take care of a pet with special needs?" I said no to adopting him and went to work.
I thought about Nemo for the next few days and joked that all I wanted for Christmas was a three-legged-dog under my tree. That set the ball in motion. My husband found him at the ASPCA, and without my knowledge, set up an appointment to see him on Christmas Eve. My husband, Will; daughter Marisa; our Husky, Mishka, and I drove to the city from Quakertown, Pennsylvania. After spending several hours with the wonderful staff there, we signed the paperwork and brought our new family member home to spend Christmas morning watching us unwrap presents.
Nemo is a wonderful dog who is full of personality and a bit of a lounger. He also tends to make us forget that he is missing a leg—except when we’re picking him up to carry him to bed every night and downstairs in the morning.
Just recently, I saw him featured in an ASPCA commercial. What a surprise! To us, he is a bit of a celebrity. Thank you, ASPCA, for making that night such a memorable one and for allowing us to bring Nemo home and become one of us. I tell everyone I know who is looking for a pet to adopt, adopt, adopt!
We don’t know about you, but just one mention of the quickly approaching deadline to file our taxes is enough to make us groan. However, we do have some good news—you can actually help animals while filing your taxes this year!
To participate, sign up for our We-Care.com extension here. This secure browser extension for Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox makes it possible for the ASPCA to automatically receive a donation from your purchases—at no cost to you (averaging 3%)*. It takes less than a minute to set up and, once you do, this reminder will let you know when you’ve visited a participating merchant’s website. Since H&R Block and Turbo Tax are just two of the 2,500+ merchants, tax season is just the start of many more ways that you can help animals with this download.
We appreciate all the merchants that are part of We-Care.com and make this enormous online shopping opportunity possible for the ASPCA. This partnership has made a real difference for countless animals.
[Right] Tinkerbell at intake, and again two months after receiving treatment.
The ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement (HLE) department has made arrests in two truly shocking cases of neglect.
On February 26, HLE Agents arrested Manhattan resident Peter Morin, 60, over the neglect of his 11-year-old Shih Tzu, Tinkerbell.
Staff at a dog grooming salon knew something was wrong when they met Tinkerbell, so they did the right thing: They called the ASPCA. Our Agents located Morin, who agreed to relinquish Tinkerbell. We rushed her to get the veterinary attention she needed.
At ASPCA Animal Hospital, veterinarians found Tinkerbell to be blind and in pain due to untreated kidney disease. They also found her to have dental disease, hair matting, dried discharge, debris all over her coat and overgrown nails.
Under our care, Tinkerbell has regained some sight and is recovering from her other ailments. She’ll eventually be made available for adoption.
[Below] Biggie upon intake at the ASPCA Hospital, and again on the day of his adoption with his new family.
Just a day after Morin’s arrest, ASPCA Agents arrested Brooklyn resident Marvin Silver, 24. Last April, Silver surrendered his dog, a three-year-old Pit mix named Biggie, to Animal Care & Control of NYC.
At the time, Biggie was just 45.2 pounds and showed signs of neglect. Staff at the shelter alerted the ASPCA to his condition, and we responded right away.
ASPCA veterinarians found Biggie to be weak, emaciated and dehydrated. They concluded he had been starved. Two months after receiving treatment, Biggie’s weight increased to 71.1 pounds—a 57 percent gain. Biggie was adopted February 7 by a Staten Island family.
Both Morin and Silver have been charged with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty. If they are convicted, they face up to a year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
If you suspect you’ve witnessed animal abuse or neglect, please report it. You may just save a life.