The ASPCA applauds today’s Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision in the case of Commonwealth v. Heather M. Duncan. The Court ruled that law enforcement can enter property without a warrant if they have a reasonable basis for believing that an animal’s life is in danger, mirroring the “emergency aid” exception for warrants that already applies to the protection of human life.
The case was a result of an event that occurred on January 8, 2011. After receiving a call from a neighbor, police entered the front yard of the defendant, Ms. Duncan, without a warrant and removed three dogs that had been left outside in severely inclement weather. Two of the dogs were deceased, and one was extremely emaciated with no food or water. When the defendant was later charged with three counts of animal cruelty, she challenged the police’s entry into her yard and any evidence gathered from the yard, arguing that law enforcement was required to get a warrant before entering the property.
The ASPCA filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief urging the Court to allow police to enter homes without a warrant when they believe an animal is injured or in imminent danger. “This important ruling appropriately empowers police to provide emergency aid to animals in peril and will encourage courts in states that have not yet decided this important issue to expand their animal protection laws,” explains Jennifer Chin, Vice President of the ASPCA’s Legal Advocacy department. “This is a major victory for animals in Massachusetts, and we’re pleased to be able to play a role in this.”
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At the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in Madison, New Jersey, we work to treat fearful, undersocialized dogs who need our support before they’re ready for adoption. We’re thrilled to announce that three former victims of animal hoarding—Waffle, Juniper and Hillary—have completed our rehabilitation program and are looking for loving homes!
These adorable pups have come a long way on their road to recovery:
Waffle: Waffle, one of 100 dogs living in a studio apartment in New York, was rescued in April 2012. She spent time with multiple rescue groups and in a foster home, but she remained extremely fearful—especially around men. She was transferred to Second Chance Pet Adoption League, which brought her to us for rehabilitation. Waffle has come a long way, and will be graduating from the ASPCA Rehabilitation Center in a few short weeks!
Juniper: Juniper was rescued from a hoarding situation in Connecticut in May 2013 and taken in by Second Chance. She was extremely shy—she bolted away from people and was very fearful of handling and leashing. Second Chance brought her to the ASPCA Rehabilitation Center, where she recovered. Juniper is thriving in a foster home, and she can’t wait to join a loving family.
Hillary: Known as a “Most Improved Pup,” Hillary was rescued from a hoarding situation in New York and taken in by Second Chance. She was the shyest and most traumatized dog of the group of 19 dogs in her former home. In a foster home, Hillary remained extremely fearful of all people and wouldn’t allow anyone to handle her. She was transferred to the ASPCA Rehabilitation Center in July 2013, and after extensive care and treatment, she graduated in January 2014!
Waffle, Juniper and Hillary are back with Second Chance waiting to find loving homes. All three dogs would do best with adult adopters who already have people-friendly, dog-friendly dogs. If you’re interested in meeting one of these new graduates,contact Second Chance by email: [email protected] or by phone: 973.208.1054.
Note: You must be in the New Jersey area to adopt. Thanks for helping us find homes for these adorable dogs!
It’s been all over the news: The glamour and excitement of the games in Sochi have come at the expense of thousands of innocent stray dogs. Ahead of the games, the government hired a private company to eliminate stray dogs from city streets.
Now, the athletes themselves are joining the public outcry and efforts to save these precious dogs. Last week, slopestyle skier Gus Kenworthy tweeted photos of four adorable stray puppies and their mother. (He them found hiding near the competition area.) The medalist pledged to bring the pups back to the States the moment he saw them.
We’re so happy the pups now have a second chance. Thank you, Gus!
The action doesn’t end there. ESPN correspondent Sarah Spain also saw the plight of the Sochi dogs and wanted to get involved helping homeless pets in her own community—so she’s pitching in!
“Like many people I was heartbroken to learn about the stray dogs being killed in Sochi,” says Spain. “While we may not be able to help those dogs, we can help homeless pets in our own backyard,” she explains. “In honor of the Sochi dogs, I’ve teamed up with a dedicated group of celebrities to help raise funds for the ASPCA.”
Recently, we told you about Baby, an adorable pup who has been in our care for more than a year and a half. This sweet dog, a victim of animal cruelty, has come a long way since we first met her, and she’s still waiting to find a loving home.
In July 2012, a Good Samaritan found Baby tied to a tree, abandoned in the summer heat. Fortunately, they contacted the ASPCA, and Baby began her road to recovery that day at the ASPCA Animal Hospital.
Dr. Bonnie Wong, the ASPCA veterinarian who treated Baby, recalls that she had a severe neck wound consistent with having a chain embedded in her neck for a long period of time. Baby’s body was in poor condition; she had a skin infection and scars on her face where it appeared other dogs had attacked her. After extensive treatment, including repetitive wound care and antibiotic treatments for her skin, Baby’s condition improved and she was ready for adoption.
Since then, Baby has waited and waited for someone to take her home. In the time she’s spent at our Adoption Center, our staff has grown immensely fond of this “oversized lap dog.” She is incredibly friendly and loyal, and we can’t wait until she has a permanent place to call home.
If you’re interested adopting Baby, please call our Adoptions department in New York City at (212) 876-7700 ext. 4120. To learn more about Baby, please visit her page.
Michigan’s wolves, once reduced to less than a handful by the 1970s, are now squarely in the crosshairs of eager hunters and politicians hoping to destroy as many as they can under a thin, and sometimes fictional, justification of threats to livestock and humans. Before we take lethal aim at these relatively defenseless and innocent animals, there’s good cause for a reality-check, because the reality is there’s simply no good reason to hunt these wolves.
Protected since 1973 under the Endangered Species Act, Michigan wolves were delisted at the start of 2012. By the end of that year, Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation declaring them fair game for hunting. Why? Because…
Well that’s a tough question to answer. Yes, there are now over 650 wolves in Michigan. But charges that wolves have ventured onto residential porches or daycare centers— or are killing livestock frequently—are not passing the truth test. In some cases, entire stories about wolf incidents are being retracted.
What is true: Michigan farmers, ranchers and other landowners are already permitted to kill wolves to protect livestock or dogs, even though cases of wolves killing livestock are relatively rare. Ranchers are also compensated for livestock losses from wolves.
What’s more, in other Great Lakes states, wolves are often trapped inhumanely, sometimes with steel-jawed traps in which animals can suffer for days before being killed.
This leaves only one motive: killing wolves merely for sport, thrill, out of hatred, and for trophies, which are what brought wolves to the brink of extinction in the first place.
Some Michigan politicians, hell-bent on opening trophy hunting season, will take any legislative or regulatory means necessary to allow the killing of wolves—even if it means going against the will of their own citizens. Michigan residents have fought to protect wolves through referendums, yet influential pro-hunting groups have found new ways to thwart the public’s voice. And it’s time once again to put up a fight to protect their lives.
In March 2013, over a quarter of a million Michigan citizens signed a petition calling for a referendum to undo the call to arms and protect the wolves, as well as to postpone wolf-hunting season until after the 2014 election.
Unmoved, the Michigan legislature gave the unelected Natural Resources Commission (NRC) the authority to determine which animals can be hunted. Being a regulatory body, the NRC’s decisions are not reversible by public vote. With its new power, the NRC approved the wolf hunt in July.
To preserve these animals’ lives, the Michigan public needs to overturn two critical laws in November: PA 520, the law which put wolves on the list of “game species”; and PA 21, which grants the NRC the authority to add animals to that list. These two laws both have the same deadly effect: to kill wolves.
Rejecting these measures will effectively stop the senseless hunting and trapping of wolves, and ensure that important issues about Michigan wildlife will still be influenced by the electoral voice of Michigan voters.
In the end, these wolves are not nearly the threat to humans as some of us humans are to our own humanity. Too often, as is in this case, the truth is deliberately obscured by individuals and institutions guided solely by self-interest and profit.
When that happens, animals are not the only ones who pay the price. We all do.
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