National Pit Bull Awareness Day, which takes place on October 25, 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 and save thousands of lives. Here’s how you can help:
Become a myth-buster and breed advocate: Did you know that famous figures like President Theodore Roosevelt, Helen Keller and Fred Astaire all shared their homes with Pit Bulls? Read more true facts about Pit Bulls and stand up against dangerous myths.
Consider adoption or fostering: Thousands of Pit Bulls end up in shelters every year due to abuse, over-breeding and abandonment. Pit Bulls can make very sweet, loyal family dogs and provide a lifetime of joy. Check out 10 Tips for Adopting a Pit Bull to 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 the Pits truly can do.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the agency responsible for protection of wild horses and burros as cultural icons, is considering a plan to ship many of these burros to Guatemala to become working animals. Once off of U.S. soil, the fate of these animals becomes largely unknown. What’s more, if carried out, this plan establishes a dangerous precedent for other federally protected equines.
The proposed taxpayer-funded plan is in direct conflict with the BLM’s mission of protecting these cultural treasures. Additionally, this plan is a waste of critical resources and fails to address the agency’s on-going problem of unsustainable wild horse management.
Currently, the BLM has over 50,000 wild horses and burros—who have been rounded-up and removed from public lands—in their holding facilities. Yet, despite this, no comprehensive on-range population management plan has been adopted. Shipping these animals to other countries to suffer undetermined fates is not the answer. The BLM should instead implement a long-term strategy that prioritizes on-range management tactics including fertility control, a method recommended recently by the National Academy of Sciences.
Action must be taken to stop this misguided plan in its tracks and safeguard the welfare of our wild horses and burros. We urge concerned readers to stand up for these wild equines by visiting the ASPCA Advocacy Center today.
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Guest blog by Deborah Press, ASPCA Senior Manager of Regulatory Affairs
Today the ASPCA and the nation’s most capable and caring hearts and minds—from the Department of Justice, the FBI, USDA, and other organizations—met to problem solve around the future of animals rescued from fighting operations. The ASPCA and its government partners came together under the auspices of the Department of Justice’s Animal Cruelty Working Group, to ensure that the process for seizing animals used in these heinous crimes is as smooth and efficient as possible so that more animals can be saved.
The ASPCA regularly works side by side with federal, state and local law enforcement to save animals from cruelty and build criminal cases against abusers. When the ASPCA assists law enforcement in animal fighting raids, the animals are held in limbo as evidence—for over a year sometimes—while prosecutors and law enforcement agencies pursue cases against accused animal fighters. As a result, the animals must stay in temporary shelters and cannot begin their new lives in forever homes.
Animal fighting victims aren’t like other criminal evidence that can be warehoused in storage lockers for years at a time. These animals have delicate behavioral needs, and even with the best staff behaviorists in the country tending to them, rescued dogs often deteriorate psychologically after many months caged in a temporary shelter environment to the point where they cannot be adopted.
We are grateful to our partners for all of the work they do to stamp out animal fighting and for throwing their expertise and passion for animals into this important cooperative conversation.
It’s hard to believe we’re only a month out from Election Day! For midterm elections like these, where there are no presidential candidates keeping our attention focused on the race for the White House, it can be easy to forget there are still a lot of important elections happening this November. But that makes it even more important that your voice is heard!
On Tuesday, November 4, all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives will be up for grabs along with 36 of the 100 Senate seats. And when you go to vote this November, many of you will also be electing your governors, state senators and representatives, mayors, city council members and other local officials.
Don’t worry—it’s not too late to register, but please do so soon. Deadlines to vote in November’s election are quickly approaching, with some as soon as this Saturday, October 4 (we’re looking at you, South Carolina and Nevada!). In many states, you can register online in just minutes through sites like registertovote.org.
We encourage you to research your candidates’ positions and voting records on the issues that matter to you. There are many issues facing our country and your vote can make a difference this election, so please register today!
New York City Council Member Paul Vallone has introduced a bill that would require full-service animal shelters to be established in the boroughs of Queens and the Bronx. Queens and the Bronx have a combined estimated population of over 3.6 million (if the two boroughs were an independent city, that city would be the third-largest in the nation), yet they currently have only “receiving centers” for animals. Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island do have full service animal shelters.
“Receiving centers are not enough! They do not provide shelter or medical care for homeless animals, nor do they provide a place to recover lost pets before they’re euthanized,” stated Council Member Vallone. “Most importantly, since animals brought to these receiving centers in the Bronx and Queens must be transported to a full service shelter in the other boroughs, their continued absence places insurmountable pressure on the existing facilities which already operate at maximum capacity. In the end, homeless animals are the ones that face the consequences of this pressure as many otherwise healthy pets are lost to euthanasia.”
Nearly every City Council Member representing the Bronx and Queens is on record as supporting the use of city budget money for the construction of these full-service shelters, and the ASPCA strongly supports it as well. “With the tremendous investment of the ASPCA and in collaboration with our many partners, we have made significant progress for some of our city’s most vulnerable residents,” says ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker. “However, there’s still much to do, and establishing full-service shelters in each borough is an essential step to getting us to a place where no adoptable animal dies.”