Looking for something to do this weekend? We’re excited to announce that the ASPCA will be participating in Maddie’s Pet Adoption Days Saturday, May 31 and Sunday, June 1. ALL adoption fees for dogs and cats will be waived during the event, thanks to subsidies provided by Maddie’s Fund. Adoptable dogs and cats will be available at the ASPCA Adoption Center, and we’ll have additional cats and kittens for adoption at the Petco store in New York City’s Union Square!
Maddie’s Pet Adoption Days is designed to increase overall pet adoptions and to create greater public awareness of shelters and rescue groups. If you’ve been considering adopting a furry friend, this is the perfect time to do so! Be on the lookout for these adorable long-stay pets at our Adoption Center who have their paws crossed this will be the weekend they join their new families.
Dutchess:This sweet pup loves every person she meets! Her hobbies are diverse: She’d love to lounge on the couch with you for TV time, just as much as she’d be thrilled to take a jaunt through the park. She already knows Sit and how to give paw!
Gia:Gia is a social and active cat. Once she forms a friendship with you, she’ll reward you with plenty of love and attention. Gia has asthma, but this smart kitty has learned to use an inhaler! She’s looking for an adopter with some previous cat experience who’ll provide her with the TLC she needs.
Jacques:Once you’ve made friends with Jacques, you’ll be his buddy for life. This little guy is very friendly and affectionate with his favorite people. He also enjoys saying a friendly “hello” to other dogs.
China: China is a friendly cat who enjoys quality rest and relaxation. This long-haired beauty is very mellow, and one of her favorite activities is to curl up by the window to take a nap. She also enjoys the company of other cats.
Please visit our adoptable dogs and adoptable cats pages to get to know all of the animals who will be available during this weekend’s event. We hope you’ll consider taking home a four-legged companion of your own!
Inhumane and unsanitary factory farms don’t just put consumers of meat, eggs and dairy at greater risk of contracting foodborne illnesses: Lots of people are experiencing health problems just by virtue of living near these industrial facilities.
A professor at Iowa State has proposed putting virtual reality goggles on chickens to convince them they’re living outside, rather than in filthy, cramped, barren conditions. It’s so ridiculous it begs the simple question: why not just give them the chance to express their natural behaviors?
Most people understand there's a difference between selling a puppy and selling a toaster oven, but do our laws? It depends where you look. Across the country, puppy mills—which in many cases are legal—are allowed to put profits ahead of pet welfare in the sole interest of their own profit-driven desires, churning out puppy after puppy like household appliances on a conveyor belt.
The good news is that states are finally addressing cruel breeding and animal-selling practices, as well as strengthening industry accountability, with a variety of laws designed to protect and save lives. While some of the laws are stronger than others, they’re all no-brainers to those who see animals as more than products, yet many state legislatures are still resistant to regulation. Two current battlegrounds are North Carolina and Illinois, but many more states are tackling these issues.
You can play a part in ending puppy mills by refusing to buy anything, including both dogs and pet supplies, from a pet store that sell puppies, as well as supporting enactment of strong state humane laws. While the federal Animal Welfare Act sets minimum standards of care, these standards are grossly inadequate—enforcement is underfunded and too often lacks teeth. As a result, state and local laws often offer better protection for these animals.
Monitoring progress in every state provides a good snapshot of how attitudes are changing nationwide. Here’s a very current overview of recent animal welfare struggles and wins in state legislatures across the country as well as at the national level:
Right now in North Carolina, legislation to prohibit certain inhumane breeding practices passed the House of Representatives in 2013 thanks to the strong leadership of House Speaker Thom Tillis. What the Senate will now agree to isn’t clear, but we fortunately have great friends in Governor and First Lady McCrory, who have made the puppy mill issue a priority. We hope for a successful resolution in the coming weeks as the legislature is in session, but residents can still help push this bill through.
This month, Minnesota lawmakers passed the state’s first puppy mill bill, which will help vulnerable animals in puppy and kitten mills thanks to the creation of a licensing program, annual inspections, and compliance with minimum standards of care for dogs and cats in commercial breeding facilities. The bill was signed into law on May 20 by Gov. Mark Dayton. This landmark legislation passed in large part thanks to Gov. Dayton’s admirable work with local advocates for many years.
In Illinois, state legislators enacted a pet lemon law last year to hold pet stores accountable if they sell dogs or cats who later become ill. Very recently, at the urging of Gov. Pat Quinn, a bill was introduced to ban the sale of puppy mill dogs in pet stores. Several communities in the state had already enacted similar bans, making this state-wide push possible. However, with so little time left in the legislative session, this measure will likely not be considered before the legislature adjourns for the summer.
In Connecticut, a bill awaiting the governor’s signature holds pet shops, breeders, and brokers more accountable for the welfare of the animals they sell by significantly increasing pet shops’ obligation to reimburse for veterinary care, prohibiting the sale of dogs from breeders and brokers with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) violations, and requiring pet shops to post federal breeder inspection reports. This bill, championed by tireless animal advocate Rep. Brenda Kupchick, grew out of a task force created by a statute in 2013 to examine possible legislative solutions to the puppy mill problem, including a full ban on the sale of puppy mill dogs in pet shops. A compromise, the present bill instead bans the sale of dogs from USDA-licensed facilities that have certain violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
New York state law now authorizes local governments to crack down on cruel and unscrupulous pet dealers throughout the state. Until this change was made, only the state could control the fate of the animals in these facilities. As a result, a number of localities and counties have already introduced proposals to regulate pet dealers on the local level.
A new law in Virginia requires pet stores to disclose the origins and health histories of dogs they sell, and expands the ability of customers to seek financial remedies if a purchased dog or cat becomes ill. Find out how to thank state lawmakers.
California now prohibits the sale of animals at public outdoor venues including roadsides and parking lots. These sales endanger animals, and lead to both increased suffering and overpopulation.
Nevada legislators banned the sale of animals at swap meets.
Vermont lawmakers passed a measure that improves enforcement of the law protecting breeding dogs and the puppies they produce by providing clear definitions and eliminating legal loopholes.
West Virginia passed a strong new law in 2013 requiring commercial breeders to be licensed. It also mandates inspections of breeding premises twice per year and sets minimum standards of care for dogs.
Federally, the USDA now requires U.S. commercial breeders who sell puppies directly to the public sight unseen to be licensed and inspected. For the first time, thousands of breeders who sell dogs over the Internet will have to open their kennel doors to regulators.
Unfortunately, this leaves out puppies coming in from overseas. That’s why we’re still working to encourage the USDA to finalize a federal rule requiring non-U.S. breeders who import puppies to the U.S. to provide certification that each dog is in good health, has received all necessary vaccinations, and is at least six months of age.
Of course, the puppy mill and dog breeding industries are fighting tooth and nail to keep their industries alive with little or no accountability, which is why we need to be active and vigilant. Though contacting your representatives may seem like a futile effort, we’ve seen momentous change come from a loud community voice.
You can also help by taking the No Pet Store Puppies pledge not to buy anything from pet stores that sell puppies, and by encouraging others to do the same. Pet stores typically purchase puppies from USDA-licensed breeders, many of whom are frequent violators of the federal Animal Welfare Act, and are allowed to sell even after repeated violations, including denying veterinary care to injured animals, keeping them in filthy and dangerous environments, performing invasive surgeries on their own animals without veterinary licenses, and, in some cases, shooting their unwanted dogs. Our "No Pet Store Puppies" campaign also features over 10,000 photos taken by USDA inspectors at licensed breeding facilities, allowing consumers to see firsthand where pet store puppies really come from.
Puppy mills wouldn’t be the first inhumane industry to be stopped, banned, or criminalized thanks to public pressure. Child labor, animal fighting, sweatshops, horse slaughter, use of lead paint, and shark finning are all examples of one-time commonly accepted practices which now fall below the standards of civilized behavior. Strong laws, personal action, and collective outrage can make the price of doing this kind of business too high for even the most motivated entrepreneur.
The bottom line is this: Humane treatment is not our gift to animals; it’s our obligation. If your state is not doing enough to keep breeders in check, urge your elected officials to do more. If your community is tolerating puppy mills and pet stores that sell puppy mill puppies, bring the true nature of those businesses to light.
And if you think this is a problem that can’t be fixed, think again.
Guest blog by Nancy Perry, ASPCA Senior Vice President of Government Relations. ___
I am happy to report that the month of May in the Year of the Horse is ending on a very positive note for America’s horses! Following on the heels of last week’s victory in the Senate, today the U.S. House Appropriations Committee approved the Moran Amendment by a bipartisan vote of 28-22.
Introduced by Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA), the Moran Amendment is now part of the House’s Agriculture Appropriations bill, which is our nation’s agriculture budget for Fiscal Year 2015. The amendment bans the use of federal funds to send USDA inspectors into horse slaughterhouses—without inspections, it would be illegal to sell the meat.
Special thanks go to Representative Moran for his brilliant leadership, skillfully guiding the amendment to success in the choppy waters of the appropriations process. He spoke eloquently in favor of eliminating tax spending on horse slaughterhouses and inspired strong speeches in favor of his amendment from Representatives Farr (D-CA), Dent (R-PA), Calvert (R-CA) and Quigley (D-IL). We are grateful for this vocal and compelling work that led to success today.
“Horse slaughter has no place in American society and this amendment affirms that Congress does not condone this inhumane practice,” said Rep. Moran. “These iconic creatures are a proud symbol of the American West that should be treasured for their beauty and treated humanely, not killed for export. The American public has made clear they oppose horse slaughter and today’s vote reflects the will of the people.”
Sitting, watching the vote unfold, there were powerful reminders of just how critical our grassroots advocacy truly is. Members repeatedly referred to hearing from people in their districts and what the American people wanted. These victories are not possible without strong support from individual advocates as well as organizations, large and small, who partnered with us in these tireless efforts. Everyone who has worked to spare horses from the nightmare of slaughter, organized to block the industry from setting up shop in their state, or taken to the courts and legislative offices to raise their voice against this cruelty played an important part in this victory today. My hat is off to you today, and I ask you to stay with us for the next steps we must take.
There are no longer any slaughterhouses in the United States that kill horses for human consumption—however, if the Moran Amendment and its Senate companion, the Landrieu-Graham Amendment, are not in the final legislation, our tax dollars could once again be used to enable the killing of horses for their meat and these predatory, inhumane businesses will return. Our job now is to make sure that the amendment remains in the final version of the bill that gets passed by the full House of Representatives. We also will press even harder to see the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act move ahead.
If you want to help the ASPCA protect our horses and communities from slaughter, please join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade and we’ll email you when we need your voice!
After months of preparation and anticipation, it’s time for the 2014 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge to begin! During this exciting three-month competition, from June 1 to August 31, 50 shelters nationwide will compete to break their own adoption records and save the most animals over the same period in 2013. Winners and finalists will earn prize grants, ranging from $5,000 to $100,000, so they can save even more animals in the future.
The Challenge contestants will be off to the races starting with the official $100K Challenge Kickoff on Sunday, June 1. The shelters will host exciting adoption events throughout the week, featuring food, games and plenty of adorable, adoptable animals. Support your local competing shelter by attending a Kickoff event. Who knows? You might even bring home a furry new addition to your family. Please visit our events page to find out what’s happening in your area!
Follow all the #100KChallenge action this weekend on Twitter, and best of luck to all the shelters as they embark on this exciting Challenge to save more lives!
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