Listen up! I bet you didn't know that most puppies sold in pet stores come from puppy mills, which are large-scale breeding facilities where people value money more than they do the welfare of the dogs. The dogs in puppy mills don't get to play, don't get daily walks and don't get the love that animals deserve. Imagine man's best friend living in a cage only six inches longer than its body in each direction—for their entire lives! And that's completely legal. It's messed up.
If a pet store tells you they don’t get their puppies from puppy mills, don't believe them. It would be like me telling you I don't use hair gel. The ASPCA launched a new tool on its "No Pet Store Puppies" website showing that "USDA licensed" doesn't mean much. The current USDA standards are so weak that dogs in these breeding facilities are often mistreated and suffer from lack of vet care.
Check out the photos of breeders taken by the USDA to see where pet store puppies really come from (warning: some of the pics are graphic!). The online database has more than 10,000 photos of breeding facilities and link some of them to pet stores throughout the country that have sold puppies within the last year.
As an ASPCA ambassador, I encourage animal lovers, like myself, across the country to put an end to this cruel industry. Here's what you can do to help:
Take the pledge not to buy any items from stores or websites that sell puppies. That includes pet food, supplies, treats or toys.
If you're looking for a new puppy, don't buy a puppy from a pet store and instead make adoption your first option, or seek a responsible breeder if you choose not to adopt.
Sunday, July 21, is “No Pet Store Puppies” Day. Help us spread the word and share the news with your friends and family via Facebook and Twitter.
Join an ASPCA Twitter chat on July 23 at 2:00 P.M. (ET), where you’ll have a chance to ask their puppy mill expert everything you wanted to learn about puppy mills. Follow #ASPCAchat.
Help us put an end to puppy mills and protect man's best friend. Say no to pet store puppies—and adopt, don't shop! Yeah, Buddy!!!!
It’s hot out there! And if your Golden Retriever or long-haired kitty seems to suffer when the mercury rises, you might feel some temptation to break out your grooming tools and give your pets a full shave-down. We get where you’re coming from.
But wait! Put down those clippers! According to experts, you’ll be doing your pet a disservice. Here’s why:
While you or I would hate to sport a fur coat in 100-degree weather, your pets’ fur coats are actually providing them with heat relief.
“A dog’s coat is kind of like insulation for your house,” explains Dr. Louise Murray, Senior Vice President of the ASPCA Animal Hospital. “Insulation stops your home from getting too cold in winter, but it also keeps it from overheating in summer—and your dog’s coat does the same thing.”
Dogs’ coats have several layers, and these layers are essential to your dog’s comfort in the heat. Robbing your dog of this natural cooling system can lead to discomfort and overheating. And keeping your dog cool isn’t the only reason to leave his coat intact, Dr. Murray warns.
Your dog’s coat prevents your pup from getting sunburn and helps protect her from skin cancer.
To protect your pet from sunburn and skin cancer, save longer walks for evenings, and consider applying pet-specific sun block to thinly covered areas like the bridge of your dog’s nose, the tips of his ears and his belly, Dr. Murray suggests, noting that pets with thin coats, as well as those with white or light-colored coats, are especially at risk for sun damage.
There are better ways to manage your pets’ coats to keep them cool: trimming and brushing.
“It’s OK to trim your long-haired dog’s long hair, such as any hair that hangs down on his legs,” Dr. Murray says. Just never attempt to clip mats off your pet’s coat with scissors, Dr. Murray adds. And if you’ve got a long-haired kitty, leave her coat intact. Instead, brush her a little more frequently during the hot summer months.
Of course, pet parents should remember to keep pets inside with plenty of water during hot days—hydration is key! For more important information on summer pet care, visit our Hot-Weather Tips. Stay cool out there!
When Marlene M. took on her first ASPCA foster dog, a white ball of fluff named Curly Sue, she didn’t know that Curly Sue would soon become a “foster failure.”
“I was fostering her for about three months and of course, she grew on me, as well as my cats—they all got along so well,” Marlene says. “Her personality started to come out, she became less shy and started asserting herself with the other animals.”
When it came time to part with Curly Sue so that she could be made available for adoption at the ASPCA Adoption Center in Manhattan, Marlene says she felt very protective of her, and wanted to make sure Curly Sue found an excellent adopter. It didn’t take long for Marlene to decide the perfect place for Curly Sue was in her own home.
Marlene says the adoption process was easy because of her familiarity with Curly Sue’s history, experience caring for her, and first-hand knowledge of her personality quirks. Curly Sue couldn’t be happier with her new family.
“She sticks by my side wherever I go,” Marlene says. “She and the cats get along well; the cats are bigger than she is, but she keeps them in their place if they try to run over her! I recently took her on a road trip to Michigan, a 13-hour drive, and she had a blast exploring new territory.”
We’re thrilled that Curly Sue’s foster placement turned into a wonderful forever home. If you live in New York City and think you might be a good fit for a foster animal, please read more about the ASPCA foster program.
What can you expect to see at your local Fourth of July parade? Decorative floats, marching bands, lots of red, white and blue—and horses! Horses are an American symbol and have played an important role in our country’s history. They deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. But sadly, even parade horses are just one bad sale away from a brutal fate in a slaughterhouse.
Horse slaughter is inherently cruel, and anyone who knows or sees the commercial slaughter process understands it absolutely cannot be called euthanasia. The vast majority of horses killed for human consumption are young, healthy animals who could go on to lead productive lives with loving owners. Moreover, horse slaughter plants destroy natural resources, devastate local economies, and horsemeat is unsafe to eat due to routine equine medications that are toxic to humans.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently approved applications for a horse slaughter facility in New Mexico and Iowa, and approval of an application in Missouri is on the way. Congress must act IMMEDIATELY to stop these plants from needlessly slaughtering American horses for commercial interests. While our government is struggling to fund vital programs, taxpayer dollars should not be wasted on a predatory industry.
The Safeguard American Foods Export (SAFE) Act (S. 541/ H.R. 1094) is a federal bill that will prevent horse slaughter operations in the U.S. and end the export of American horses for slaughter abroad. Please send a polite email to your federal legislators in Congress and urge them to support the SAFE Act and ban the slaughter of American horses for human consumption.
Thank you for being a voice for American horses this Independence Day!
As the country dons its red, white and blue to celebrate Independence Day, nothing says patriotism like a good old-fashioned barbecue with a side of fireworks. But beware pet parents, what’s fun for people can be a drag for our furry friends.
Even if your pooch is a pro picnicker, we recommend keeping him indoors as much as possible during backyard parties and Fourth of July festivities. From toxic food and beverages to raucous guests and fireworks, the holiday is rife with potential pet-astrophes.
“Even the most timid dog can leap a six-foot fence if he’s spooked by loud noises,” says Dr. Pamela Reid, Vice President of the ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty Behavior Team. If your dog shows signs of distress from fireworks or boisterous revelers, Dr. Reid suggests giving him a Kong toy stuffed with peanut butter. “The persistent licking should calm his nerves,” she says.
The ASPCA offers some more expert advice to keep your pet singing, “Oh Say Can You See,” all the way to the fifth:
Keep your pet on the wagon. Since alcohol is potentially poisonous to pets, place all wine, beer and spirits well out of paws’ way.
Avoid scraps from the grill. Stick with your pet’s normal diet—any change, even for a day, can result in stomach upset. Certain foods like onions, avocado, chocolate, grapes and raisins are especially toxic to pets.
Skip the sunscreen. Avoid lathering your pet with any insect repellent or sunscreen not intended for the four-legged kind. Ingestion can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy.
Stay fire smart. Keep your pet away from fireworks, matches, citronella candles and lighter fluid, which if eaten can irritate the stomach, lungs and central nervous system.
Be cool near the pool. Don’t leave pets unsupervised around a pool or lake—not all dogs are expert swimmers! Also, pools aren’t large water bowls—they contain chlorine and other toxic chemicals that can cause stomach problems.