In 2011, Spike (also known as Spice) was living in a squalid basement. Tied to a wall with a short leash, he had no access to food or water. He was severely emaciated, weighing only 32 pounds when the ASPCA rescued him. Over the next two years, staff at the ASPCA nursed him to health and brought his weight up to 54 pounds. But despite his sweet, loving temperament, Spike just couldn’t find a home. We worried he might never get adopted. Then, on Christmas Eve, we got the greatest gift of all.
Joe and Lou, two brothers from New Jersey, first learned about Spike on Facebook. They had been looking for a dog for a while when someone shared Spike’s photo on their timeline. “I figured the right dog would come along eventually, and he did,” said Lou. The very next day, December 24, they went to the ASPCA Adoption Center and adopted Spike.
Many ASPCA staff said goodbye to the precious pit bull with tears of joy—no one more so than Animal Care Technician Trevor Simms. Trevor worked with Spike daily during his time at the ASPCA. Despite the bittersweet goodbye, Trevor couldn’t have asked for a better holiday miracle.
“Finally,” was all he could manage to say.
Spike now spends his days with Joe and Lou at their racing shop in New Jersey. He spends his nights in their warm, loving home.
Ready to help more animals like Spike in 2014? Join us! Become an ASPCA Guardian, and for just a few cents a day, you can make a huge impact on countless lives.
Guest blog by Ann Church, ASPCA Vice President of State Affairs
With state legislatures gathering in state capitals around the country to start their 2014 legislative sessions, the ASPCA is looking forward to another year of productive lawmaking for animals. Last year we helped secure 86 state-level legislative victories, increasing protections for millions of animals and stopping abuse before it could begin. Our New Year’s resolution is to replicate this success—and we need your help to make that happen!
We have an ambitious agenda for 2014: We want to help pass the first state law in the nation banning the sale of puppy mill dogs in retail pet shops; strengthen cruelty laws; enhance publicly funded spay/neuter; and eliminate the horrors of dog fighting and cockfighting, Greyhound racing, horse slaughter for human consumption and fox penning (to name just a few of our goals). There will also be bad bills that we’ll need to defeat. Defeating ag-gag bills in 11 states kept us busy in 2013, and unfortunately 2014 is already shaping up to be similarly challenging.
Your state delegates/representatives and state senators will cast their votes on legislation based on what you, their constituents, want. The states have a great deal of authority to act on direct care of animals, and some issues can only be addressed at the state level. It is up to you to let them know that you care deeply about how animals are protected.
Here are a few simple steps you can take to get more involved in the legislative process and ensure that animals have the legal protections they deserve:
Look up who represents you. Post their contact information on your fridge so you can easily call them to express your support for bills to protect animals or opposition to legislation that would roll back protections for animals.
Participate in a lobby day at your state capitol or a training session on citizen advocacy. Once you’ve joined the Advocacy Brigade (see above), watch your inbox for the ASPCA’s invitations to events in your area!
The fate of your state’s animals will be decided through the legislative process. We’ve made it our New Year’s resolution to protect them by passing strong state laws, and we hope that you will join us. Resolve to get involved, and be the voice these animals need in state capitols across the country.
Rory is a sweet dog who is ready to join your circle of friends. She is very affectionate with people she knows. This energetic dog also loves playtime.
Bonus! Rory is already housetrained. She feels a bit overwhelmed by unfamiliar sights and sounds, but our Behavior Team can give you some tips for helping Rory adjust. She’d do best in a teens-and-up home with an experienced adopter. If you’re looking for an exercise partner or just a partner in crime, adopt Rory today!
Roryis 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 Rory, please visit her page.
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While the holidays are a time for baked goods galore, it’s often unsafe for our four-legged friends to join in on the sugar-filled fun. Just before Christmas, Tinkerbell, a two-year-old, five-pound Chihuahua, wolfed down eight macadamia nut cookies that she found in her pet parent’s backpack. When her pet parent, Joseph C., saw that Tinkerbell was vomiting and lethargic, he brought her to the ASPCA Animal Hospital (AAH).
ASPCA veterinarian Dr. Michael Dugan assessed Tinkerbell, and submitted lab work. Her symptoms and test results were consistent with possible macadamia nut toxicity. AAH staff consulted with the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center and confirmed that this was a strong possibility.
Tinkerbell was admitted to AAH where she received supportive care in the Intensive Care Unit. Luckily, she responded well to treatment. She went home the next day with antibiotics and antacids, and Joseph reports that she has made a full recovery. He says from now on, he’ll keep sweet treats out of Tinkerbell’s reach. We’re so glad this tiny pup is happy and healthy!
Every new year brings a new chance to start fresh. But while you’re resolving to get slimmer, smarter, and more successful, don’t forget about your four-legged friends! To help you keep your pets happy and healthy in 2014, we’ve put together our Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions.
10. Brush & Groom: Nobody wants a stinky pet! Resolve to brush your pet every day and check their teeth, nails and ears at least once a week. Routine care is important for your pet’s health and hygiene, and it has the added bonus of making them feel happy, pretty, and loved.
9. Get Moving: You’re not the only one who wants to get healthy in the New Year, so why not include your pet in your fitness routine? Adult dogs need at least 30 minutes of exercise twice a day—jogging, playing fetch, and swimming are all great options. Keep kitties in shape with rousing play sessions and fun furry toys.
8. Schedule a Check-Up: You go to the doctor regularly, and your pet should, too. Yearly veterinary exams will help ensure that your pet is up-to-date on the latest vaccinations and flea/heartworm medications. It will also help avoid preventable health problems like diabetes and arthritis. If it’s been a year or more since your pet has seen the vet, make an appointment today!
7. Battle the Bulge: Pets depend on us to regulate their nutrition and activity levels. When kept at their ideal body weight, they can live longer and avoid complications like heart disease and joint problems. So while it’s tempting to share table scraps, try your best to stick to healthy treats and a strict feeding schedule.
6. Try Something New: From hiking to doga (yes, doga), there are tons of things you can do to have fun with Fido. Getting out of the house will give your pet new experiences, and it’ll give you both a chance to bond. There’s just no substitute for quality time with your four-legged friend.
5. IDs, Please: All pets—even the ones who live indoors—should have an ID tag. January is a good time to make sure that all their information is up-to-date, or to invest in tags if you haven’t already. Implanted microchips are also a smart option.
4. Spay and Neuter: Did you know that in addition to keeping pet populations in check, spaying and neutering can also benefit your pet’s health? Benefits range from behavioral issues (decreased aggression and urine-marking) to a decreased risk of certain kinds of cancer. If your pet is more than 8 weeks old, now is the time to get them spayed or neutered.
3. Socialize: No, you don’t have to sign them up for Facebook. But you should take time to socialize your pets. Regular interaction with other animals can help release energy, curb anxiety, and improve communication skills. So whether it’s through training classes or regular trips to the dog park, socialization can help keep your pet at their mental and physical best.
2. Love, love, love! We know it’s obvious, but New Year’s is a great time to remind everyone that animals need lots of love and attention! Life can get hectic, but it only takes a second to stop and hug your pet. They show us unconditional love, shouldn’t we do the same?
1. Give Back: Sadly, not all animals are as fortunate as yours. If you’re ready to spread the love and help homeless animals in 2014, resolve to become an ASPCA Guardian. For just a few cents a day, you can make a huge impact on countless lives.