We did it! Today the North Carolina State Senate adjourned for the year without passing S.B. 648, an “ag-gag” bill that sought to keep the public in the dark about animal abuse and food-safety problems on factory farms. We are thrilled to announce that this means all 11 state-level whistleblower suppression bills proposed this year were defeated!
This huge victory is thanks to the hard work of a large coalition of interest groups and the actions of concerned citizens, like the dedicated members of the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, who told their legislators that they want transparency and accountability when it comes to how farm animals are treated. With the defeats of these bills, we have shown the agriculture industry that suppressing investigations—and the hard truths they often uncover—is not an acceptable response to the real problem of abuse on factory farms.
In May 2012, I lost my Pit Bull of 11 years, Mojo Jojo, to osteosarcoma. My heart was broken. I knew I would adopt another Pit Bull but wasn't quite ready yet. I decided to foster a puppy named 17. He fit in really well, and loves his housemates—we have three Staffordshire Bull Terriers named Charlie, Rumble and Page, and two adopted cats named Mush and Viggo. After about three weeks, we decided to officially adopt him.
As a dog trainer, I felt it was important to socialize 17, taking him to new places, introducing him to people and dogs during his foster period. Walking in town was a challenge. If a bus or truck passed by, or if 17 heard a loud noise, he would try to get back to the house. Walking him with our confident, adult dogs Rumble and Charlie, as well as bringing food along, helped 17 learn to walk in town without fear. At first, 17 was also hesitant to use the stairs leading up to our home. After a few weeks of eating breakfast on the steps, he overcame his fear.
17 is an avid swimmer, which we discovered when we took him to the beach—I could hardly hold onto his leash when he saw the water. Wearing a life jacket, 17 will fetch a ball over and over in the ocean. He's also enjoying agility classes. We also do a sport called lure coursing, which he took to right away. He has competed in Coursing Ability Tests and earned his first title in May.
A lot of people ask us why his name is 17. When we first took him home, his paperwork said #17/Arthur, meaning 17 of the 47 dogs in the case. “17” stuck and it is perfect because people always ask about it, which gives us an opportunity to educate people that great dogs really can come from cases of cruelty and neglect. No one forgets his name, either.
We’d like to thank the ASPCA for the great work they do and the opportunity they give animals like 17 every day in their work.
Virtual Piggy is an online family wallet that protects your child's privacy when he or she shops online under the limits you set. Parents stay in control, kids and teens get to learn financial responsibility, and there are never any fees or charges. It’s a great way to create an ongoing family conversation around financial literacy by empowering kids to make decisions within parental boundaries.
Virtual Piggy also provides kids and teens with tools to help them budget, save and give to charities responsibly. The service is 100% free to use, and available online or via mobile.
“Philanthropy is important to us and a key component to a well-rounded knowledge of financial literacy,” says Dr. Jo Webber, CEO and founder of Virtual Piggy. “We are excited to work with the ASPCA, which is one of the Virtual Piggy members’ favorite charities.”
“Kids and teens have always had a passion for the welfare of animals,” adds Elysia Howard, ASPCA Vice President of Marketing and Licensing. “Now they can feel empowered to directly contribute to a cause they deeply care about.”
Donate to the ASPCA at no cost to you by setting up a free account at Virtual Piggy—visit www.virtualpiggy.com/ASPCAtoday to get started.
It was difficult to choose, but we have selected 40 exceptional finalists representing 26 Challenge shelters. Now it’s up to you to pick the winners! Visit our $100K Challenge Photo Contest Pinterest Board to vote for your favorite photos from July 23, 2013, at 5:00 P.M. EDT to August 5, 2013, at 11:59 P.M. EDT. Submit your vote using the “like” and “repin” actions on Pinterest—one “like” equals one point and one “repin” equals two points. Contest winners will receive prizes from $1,000 to $5,000 in ASPCA grant funds for their local Challenge shelter.