Pit Bulls get a bad rap these days, but it wasn’t always this way. In fact, these dogs used to be considered such powerful symbols of bravery and loyalty that they were featured on World War One recruiting posters! They were also beloved family pets: Famous figures including President Theodore Roosevelt, Helen Keller and Fred Astaire shared their homes with Pit Bulls.
National Pit Bull Awareness Day, which takes place on October 26, was created to bring positive attention to the Pit Bull Terrier. By combating myths about the breed, we have the power to restore its good reputation. Here’s how you can help:
Become a myth-buster and breed advocate. You’ve probably heard that Pit Bulls have “locking jaws” and are naturally aggressive—neither of which are true. In reality, Pit Bulls’ jaws are no different from those of any other dogs. Spaying or neutering is the best way to eliminate aggressive behavior, as the vast majority of dog bites come from unaltered dogs. Read more facts about Pit Bull behavior here.
Combat dog fighting and breed-specific legislation. Become a voice for dogs who have been victimized by animal fighters and harmful laws. Join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade to learn how you can get involved.
Considering adopting or fostering. Thousands of Pit Bulls end up in shelters every year due to abuse, over-breeding and abandonment. Rescuing a Pit could provide a lifetime of joy for your family. Consult our 10 tips for adopting a Pit Bull and find out if this breed is right for you!
Make your Pit Bull an ambassador. The best way to combat negative stereotypes is for you and your Pit to set a positive example! Take your well-trained dog with you to the park, store, and for long walks to show people the peaceful, gentle side of Pits. Additionally, consider having your dog earn an AKC Canine Good Citizen certificate, which may come in handy when facing breed bias from people who don’t understand the good that Pits truly can do.
Join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade!
By joining the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, you will receive important alerts from us when we need your help to fight for laws against animal cruelty.
Over the course of a very productive weekend, animal welfare groups in 36 communities nationwide found homes for 5,685 cats and dogs during the ASPCA’s 2013 Mega Match-a-thon October 18-20.
The ASPCA granted nearly $300,000 to support large-scale adoption events across the country in an effort to help thousands of shelter animals join loving families.
Standouts from the weekend include the animal welfare community in Sacramento, California— City of Sacramento Animal Care Services, Happy Tails Pet Sanctuary, Sacramento County Animal Care and Regulation, and the Sacramento SPCA joined forces to adopt out a total of 526 animals. That’s a 336 percent increase over their adoption total for the same weekend in 2012!
The KC Pet Project in Kansas City, Missouri and Greater Androscoggin Humane Society in Lewiston, Maine, were left with countless empty kennels after their events, during which they found homes for 228 and 272 animals, respectively.
We’re so impressed by the adoptions successes in all 36 participating communities, and we’re thrilled that so many animals found forever homes in just one weekend! Congratulations to all of our 2013 Mega Match-a-thon participants for a job well done.
Next week will mark the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, a violent storm that displaced thousands of people and pets and caused nearly 300 deaths in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. Sandy destroyed homes, shattered lives, and plunged parts of the country—including Lower Manhattan—into darkness for weeks.
Those of us in New York, where the ASPCA is headquartered, were not used to this kind of catastrophic weather event. Despite the warnings, many people avoided making any contingency plans—some even refused to comply with mandatory evacuation orders. Others might have evacuated, but didn’t know what to do with their pets. Watch the video below for the story of one Sandy survivor who wishes she’d done things differently.
Hindsight is 20/20, but we shouldn’t dwell on the mistakes of the past at the expense of protecting ourselves in the future. With hurricane season upon us again, we urge everyone to heed the lessons taught by Hurricane Sandy and to be prepared for disaster to strike.
1. Have a Plan. Your “all-family” plan needs to include how you will transport your animals, possible routes you will take and your destination/sheltering options. 2. Build a Go-Kit. This should include a photo of your pet, medical and vaccination records, and any special food or prescriptions. We feel so strongly about every pet parent having a pet first aid kit that we’ve assembled one for you, and right now it’s $10 off at the ASPCA Online Store. 3. Know Your Neighbors. Find someone you can entrust with a key to your house. If a disaster occurs when you are at work, your neighbor may be able to reach your pets. 4. Vaccinate and Microchip Your Pets. If you are ever required to shelter your pets, you will want them protected against disease. And the single most important piece of advice we can offer is to microchip your pets and keep your contact information current with the chip's maker. It is truly their ticket home.
Are you ready? Halloween is just a week away. As most pet parents scramble to put the finishing touches on their own costumes, some are scrounging for the cutest or scariest attire they can find for their pets, too. But hold on—are Halloween costumes really okay for our furry friends?
It depends, say experts. Our vets and behaviorists weighed in and said putting your pet in costume is okay as long as you’re certain he’s comfortable in his holiday gear.
If you decide to have your pet wear a costume, here are three helpful tips to keep in mind:
Your pet’s Halloween garb shouldn’t constrict his movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Be sure to try on costumes well in advance—and if your furry friend seems distressed, try switching to his birthday suit.
Examine your pet’s costume and make sure it doesn’t have any small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he could choke on. Also, ill-fitting outfits can get caught on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.
Make sure your dog or cat has proper identification on underneath that cute costume. If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost during Halloween festivities, tags or a microchip can be a lifesaver.
Are you planning to dress up your pet for Halloween? Let us know in the comment—and be sure to tag us @ASPCA if you upload any pics of your festive friend to Twitter or Instagram.
Listen up, TV lovers! This laid back pup wants nothing more than to sit next to you on the couch and catch up on all of your favorite shows. Fraggle is ready to relax and cuddle with you.
Fraggle underwent surgery that left him deaf, and he also has some vision limitations. If you choose to open your heart and home to Fraggle, our behavior staff can talk you through the best ways to care for this special dog. Fraggle would do best in a teens-and-up household with patient adopters who’ll go the extra mile for him. Adopt Fraggle today!
Fraggleis available for adoption at the ASPCA Adoption Center. If you are interested in adopting please call our Adoptions department in New York City at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4900. To learn more about Fraggle,please visit his page.