Who doesn’t love the Fourth of July? It’s a weekend for block parties, barbeques, belly-flops in the pool and parades—all best when enjoyed with friends and family, and even better when you have the day off to celebrate with your pets! Have fun, but remember that certain traditional Independence Day activities might not be so fun, or so healthy, for the four-legged members of your household: yes, we’re talking about fireworks.
Fireworks are loud, and the crowds that go to see them can be scary, too. Animal shelters nationwide are flooded with runaway pets on the Fourth; studies show that nearly one in five lost pets went missing because they were fleeing the sound of fireworks or other loud noises. Losing a pet is not only heartbreaking, it’s also very dangerous for the animal, especially if he or she ends up roaming busy streets.
The best way to keep your pets safe is to make sure they don’t go missing in the first place: Please resist the urge to take your pets to go see fireworks. Instead, keep them safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home. Double check leashes and collars and make sure your pet’s ID tag is up to date. Be mindful when opening outside doors. And if the unthinkable does happen, the ASPCA’s new app is here to help: Utilizing the latest field research, this free tool provides users with an individual search plan based on their pet’s behavior and individual circumstances so they can search quickly and effectively to recover their lost pet.
If you’re in the New York City area, we’ve got a few cute cats at the ASPCA Adoption Center that we’d like to bring to your attention:
Gus: This sweet, sensitive cat might be a little shy at first, but once he gets to know you, he loves plenty of gentle attention. Gus would do best in a quiet home with an experienced adopter and teens 14-and-up. He’d love to be the only cat in your household. Visit Gus’s page to view more pictures and an adorable video.
Snowy: Friendly but shy, Snowy enjoys spending time with her favorite people. She might keep to herself most of the time, but she’ll come around for her favorite activity—playtime! Snowy loves to play with string toys. She’d like to join a quiet household with kids 10-and-up.
Alicia: Alicia is a friendly, affectionate cat. Our staff believes Alicia may have suffered head trauma as a kitten, so she may occasionally become disoriented. Once Alicia settles in, she loves playtime—especially with string toys. She’d also enjoy curling up next to you on the couch.
These three kitties, plus many more, are waiting to find loving homes. If you’re able, we hope you’ll consider adopting a cat this weekend. Thanks for helping us celebrate shelter cats all year long!
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As the nation’s second-largest animal welfare grantmaker, the ASPCA is constantly on the lookout for innovative, inspiring, and admirable programs that can benefit from our support. When we first heard about our latest grantee, Operation Blankets of Love, we knew we had found one such program.
Based in Los Angeles, Operation Blankets of Love (OBOL) is a grassroots organization that connects human services to animal welfare in a very unique way. Recognizing that many homeless people have the same love, dedication, and commitment to their pets’ well-being as more fortunate people do, OBOL’s current project—Homeless People’s Pets Community Outreach Project—will provided critical services to homeless people and their pets who are living in shelters or on the streets of L.A.
“Our program’s primary goal is to provide basic supplies and services to keep pets of the homeless happy and healthy, so that they can stay with their loving human companions rather than being relinquished to crowded city and county animals shelters with high euthanasia rates,” says Eileen Smulson, Founder & President of OBOL.
Tessa Madden, Development Coordinator at PATH (People Assisting the Homeless) has worked with Operation Blankets of Love for over three years. “They actively donate care, comfort and pet items that the residents need for their pets,” she says. “This includes necessary pet items they need to keep their dog or cat healthy and happy—food, treats, pet beds, blankets, towels, leashes, collars, toys, grooming supplies, and more.” In addition to these comfort/care items, OBOL also raises funds to provide spay and neuter surgeries for animals in need.
An ASPCA grant of $5,000 will help OBOL deliver needed items and resources to pet families living at eight shelters and social service centers or on the street, and in collaboration with organizations serving the homeless. While OBOL is able to procure much of their supplies through generous in-kind donations from corporations, foundations, and the public, the ASPCA grant will help defray delivery, transportation, and other operational costs to get the pet food and comfort/care items to where they’re needed most.
As many of you know, the ASPCA has been fighting through our Truth About Chicken campaign to improve the lives of chickens raised for meat. We want to make sure that you’ve seen CNN®’s report airing new footage released by the animal advocacy group Compassion Over Killing® (COK) from their recent investigation* on a chicken factory farm that supplies Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation®—the second-largest chicken producer in the world. Below is an excerpt from COK’s footage:
This rare look inside an industrial chicken farm reveals common living conditions for chickens raised for meat. Tens of thousands of chickens are kept in lightless sheds and bred for growth rates that cause lameness and open sores, injuries which could pose potential food safety risks by acting as gateways to infection. Some chickens are shown with ammonia burns as a result of lying in their own waste. Other birds are too lame or deformed to walk. This investigation also exposed the suffering of sick and dying chickens who were thrown across the sheds and buried alive in pits under the carcasses of other chickens.
It doesn’t have to be this way. The ASPCA’s Truth About Chicken campaign is calling on the chicken industry to significantly improve the lives of these animals and potentially reduce the incidence of foodborne illness for consumers by raising slower-growing chickens in better living conditions. To learn more and take action to help chickens, visit TruthAboutChicken.org today.
Please help us spread the word by sharing this blog and video with your friends on Twitter and Facebook.
*The ASPCA provided grant funding for this investigation as part of our commitment to improving the lives of chickens raised for meat and in line with our belief that transparency on industrial farms will result in a shift toward more humane practices.
We are super excited to announce the launch of our latest mobile app for pet parents. The free app offers customized step-by-step instructions to find missing pets, expert advice on protecting pets before and during natural disasters, and a place to safely store and update pets’ medical records. It’s a handy tool to help pet parents make smart choices when those decisions matter most.