As many across the country prepare to spend time with friends and family this Memorial Day weekend, our thoughts turn to the good people and pets of Moore, Oklahoma, where many lost everything earlier this week when a tornado devastated the community.
The ASPCA is currently on the ground to support partner shelter Central Oklahoma Humane Society (OK Humane) with staffing needs as the facility experiences an influx of animals affected by the disaster. We’ll continue to offer our assistance as needed and will keep you updated as the long road to recovery begins for Moore and its neighbors.
For more information about how you can help the pets and people of Oklahoma, please visit OK Humane. Moore-area pet parents who are searching for a lost cat or dog, please check www.okclostpets.com. The site was set up specifically for this disaster, and OK Humane will update its listings with any incoming animals.
This recent tragedy is the latest in a series of unforgiving weather events. We want to remind folks that the best thing you can do for yourself and your pets is to be prepared. Here are a few easy steps you can take to keep your family safe in an emergency:
• Have a Plan. Your “all-family” plan should include how you will transport your animals in an evacuation, possible routes you will take and your destination/sheltering options. •Build a Kit. Don’t forget a photo of your pet, medical records, vaccination records, and any special food or prescriptions. • Stay Informed. Keep an eye on the weather, learn which shelters house both people and pets, and monitor possible road closures. • Vaccinate and Microchip. If you’re ever required to shelter your pets, you’ll want them protected against disease. Microchipping your pets can be their ticket home.
Tell us: Are you prepared for an unexpected emergency or disaster? Are you on the ground helping the good folks of Moore? Tweet us your answers to @ASPCA using the hashtag #Oklahoma.
Woodchuck, Clint and Groucholove each other, and it’s the cutest darned thing. All three were rescued from the same hoarding situation, and at first they were really shy. But now they’ve all come out of their shells and are ready to go home—and what they’d really love is the chance to go home together.
These three have a huge fan in Senior Feline Behavior Counselor Katie Watts. “Woodchuck, Clint and Groucho are the cutest threesome! They spend at least half of their day in a big cat pile,” she told us. “Just now I saw all three crowded onto one small bed. There wasn’t quite room for all three, so Clint was sitting on top of the other two.” Adorable!
Woodchuck and Clint are a bonded pair, so they must go home together. Groucho must live with another cat—Woodchuck and Clint, another adoptable, or your resident feline—just so long as he has a kitty buddy to snuggle with.
To adopt Woodchuck and Clint or Groucho—or all three—please contact the ASPCA Adoption Center in NYC at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4120.
When Nada P., an ASPCA staffer, agreed to take on Champ, an office foster cat with special needs, she had no idea that he would soon join her feline family. It didn’t take long for her to fall in love with Champ, now named Mr. Wiggles, and her three resident cats, Tiger, Bucky and Squeaker, welcomed him to the group. She shared the following story with us:
I first met Champ when he came to my office as a foster in September 2012. At the ASPCA, we have a great program where special needs cats get extra attention from staff who volunteer to care for them in their offices. Champ has cerebellar hypoplasia, a condition that makes him wobbly. He was quite wobbly at first, and would fall every time he looked up at me. However, he did manage to eat, drink water and use the litter box by himself. He quickly became a staff favorite because of his sweet nature and adorable good looks. Needless to say, I was smitten from the moment I met him.
As more and more people met him and mentioned that they may want to adopt him, the more I thought, “I need to take him home before anyone else does.” My only worry was how my other three cats would react to him. On December 14, 2012, I finally decided to take a chance and see how Tiger, Bucky and Squeaker would react to Champ. After a careful, slow introduction and a few nerve-racking encounters, my other boys fell for him as hard as I did. Champ, now named Mr. Wiggles, and his brothers are the best of friends. I could not be happier that I took a chance on him. He plays with wanton abandon and runs through our apartment so fast that it looks like he’s flying. When he has his “crazies,” he hops around like a deer, which makes him even faster. He has also become much more stable over time, and easily outruns his brothers. I am so grateful the ASPCA Adoption Center brought this angel into our lives.
Got a special adoption story? Share it (or Champ’s story!) on social media using the hashtag #HappyTail.
On the ground during a previous rescue effort in Joplin, Missouri, in 2011.
As details about the impact and devastation of the tornado that struck Moore, Oklahoma, continue to emerge, the ASPCA stands ready to assist. We remain in contact with local authorities and are prepared to provide our disaster recovery expertise and support once requested. Like all of you, we grieve with those who have lost loved ones and hope for a speedy recovery.
The Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act requires that many animals be quickly rendered unconscious before slaughter, and USDA policy requires that any plant violating this law be suspended or, at minimum, receive a warning. Despite this, the Inspector General reported that more than 25% of the time, inspectors failed to take appropriate action—in many cases electing to do nothing in response to astonishing cruelty.
The Inspector General witnessed pigs regain consciousness after being stunned, reported a captive bolt gun misfiring and becoming lodged in the skull of a still-conscious pig, and detailed a case of a downed pig being lifted and dropped by a forklift onto a concrete floor.
Take Action Please tell the USDA that Americans won’t stand for negligence in the face of cruelty. Using the text below, please email Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack at firstname.lastname@example.org to thank him for empowering the Inspector General to uncover these violations and encourage the USDA to act on this report to prioritize measurable, effective improvements in the handling of livestock.
Here is some sample email text, but feel free to edit in your own words:
Dear Secretary Vilsack,
The ASPCA recently alerted me to the Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG) appalling findings about inhumane pig handling at U.S. slaughter plants. Thank you for empowering the OIG to carefully and critically evaluate such an important area of the USDA’s mandate.
I am stunned by the accounts of cruelty depicted in the report, and concerned by the continual failure of USDA inspectors to punish wrongdoers. The USDA must ensure that its employees understand requirements for proper slaughter. The agency must commit sufficient resources to enforcing animal handling laws and put an end to institutional tolerance for cruelty once and for all.
Thank you for your time and attention to this important matter.
Thanks for your help, animal advocates! Please share this post with your friends on Twitter using the hashtag #TakeAction.