The temporary shutdown of the federal government is affecting people across the country, but we cannot overlook its impact on those who have no voice—our nation’s animals.
Right now, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is not performing all of its duties under the Animal Welfare Act: For one thing, it is not inspecting puppy mills or pet dealers. During this break in oversight, untold harm could be done to commercially bred animals simply because no one is empowered to monitor their safety.
“With limited resources and less-than-vigorous enforcement under ordinary circumstances, we know that the shutdown is a terrible blow to dogs in puppy mills,” says Cori Menkin, Senior Director, ASPCA Puppy Mills Campaign. “Think of the mills that were scheduled for a follow-up inspection today to make sure serious issues had been resolved.”
For more information about our campaign against puppy mills, please visit our No Pet Store Puppies website. And for a more in-depth look at how the government shutdown is affecting routine oversight of several other animal-related industries, please check back with ASPCA.org/blog tomorrow for a special report from our Government Relations team on the ground in D.C.
Kristin M. wasn’t planning to adopt a dog when she visited the ASPCA Adoption Center in Manhattan, but meeting Dakota changed her mind. She shared the following story with us about the way in which her family of three became a family of four.
We decided to adopt Dakota when we first saw her. She wiggled up to the glass wagging her tail and just seemed like the sweetest girl—not too big or too small—and flashed her happy Pit Bull smile.
We had never adopted before. We, of course, went to “just look.” After meeting Dakota and learning she wasn’t quite ready for adoption, we put a hold on her.
The adoption process was so easy! It was great being able to have Dakota and our bossy Chihuahua, Cali, meet in a neutral area at the Adoption Center.
Dakota has adjusted into regular home life here. When we first brought her home, we could tell she wasn't used to being in a home setting. Every time I opened the refrigerator, she tried to climb inside it! Stairs were a real challenge for her, even though it is only three steps. We kept her and her older sister separated, while we were gone, for the first two months, just to be safe.
Over the past five months, she has relaxed quite a bit. Dakota walks on a leash very nicely now and has no trouble with our little set of stairs. We often joke that she wants to be best friends with everyone she meets on the street. She and Cali sleep next to each other and even play! Of course, Cali is still the boss.
We couldn't be happier to have Dakota as a member of our little family. We don't even mind waking up to her silly face trying to lick ours!
Guest blog post by Ashley Chengerian, ASPCA staffer and Gray Wolf advocate.
I've loved wolves my whole life. Perhaps it was watching all those TV movie marathons of Dances with Wolves with my dad. Maybe it was reading about them at an early age in Scholastic-ordered books. Whatever the case, they mean something to me. So when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to remove Gray Wolves from its list of Threatened and Endangered Species, I had to speak out.
I knew that other departments within the ASPCA are working to protect wolves, but what’s a citizen advocate to do?
First, I did a basic search for online petitions and opportunities to submit official public comments. Most online petitions can save your basic information if you want, which makes signing on behalf of a cause take about two clicks of a button. For this issue, though, I still wanted to do more. I discovered there were several public hearings throughout the country on the potential delisting—so earlier this week, I hopped a bus from New York City to D.C., site of the nearest hearing.
At the hearing at the Department of the Interior, I testified publicly for the first time in my life. What a rush! I immediately felt a sense of pride in our democracy and was humbled to be an active participant. Most surprising, however, was the feeling of interconnectedness throughout the room.
It’s the first day of October, and you know what that means…time to kick off Adopt a Shelter Dog Month!
To get you in the spirit, we’ve prepared a special section on ASPCA.org devoted to the lovable, adorable and resilient shelter pooch. This is where you can learn how to find the right dog for your family, use our nationwide shelter search tool to locate him, and read all about how to keep him happy, healthy and entertained!
And if you love happy endings (who doesn’t?!), don’t miss our collection of shelter dog success stories. We hope they inspire you to go out and save a furry life this month.
Head over to aspca.org/ASDM to read all about it, and remember—there are millions of wonderful, adorable shelter dogs in our country who need homes, so please opt to adopt!