September is Puppy Mill Awareness Month—and we’re gearing up for a really cool event. With Pet360 and Catster, we’re co-hosting a Puppy Mill Twitter Chat to answer ALL of your puppy mill questions. Where do pet store puppies come from? What really happens to mill dogs when they can no longer breed? Is my dog from a puppy mill? How can I help?
In addition to spreading awareness, we’ll be giving away lots of really cool loot—like our puppy mill message tee and tote bag! So join us on Wednesday, September 12, from 7:00 to 8:00 P.M. Use hashtag #EndPuppyMills to join the conversation.
Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS), an ASPCA community partner, has launched an investigation into the recent deaths of three dogs at two different locations in the South Hill neighborhood of Spokane, WA.
On February 19, a woman reported to SCRAPS that she let her dogs outside at approximately 6:00 A.M., and when she went to feed her horses, saw one of the dogs eating something off the ground. She called her dog away from what was later identified as meatballs. Approximately 30 minutes later, the dog started having convulsions and was taken to an emergency clinic, where he died. Two other dogs were reported dead by another pet parent in the South Hill neighborhood on the same day.
Test results from Washington State University indicated that the meatballs were laced with strychnine, which was most likely from gopher bait or a gopher control pesticide. The gopher bait product was mixed with the meat and then cooked. This type of gopher bait product is a “restricted-use” pesticide in the state of Washington, but it is available for purchase at licensed pesticide dealers by those who are eligible.
“There are many ways an individual could have obtained this product, either legally or illegally,” said SCRAPS Lead Animal Protection Officer Nicole Montano, the primary officer investigating these crimes.
SCRAPS is urging everyone to help spread the word about the poisonings in Spokane, and is advising pet parents to keep a close eye on their furry friends and thoroughly inspect their yards and surrounding properties for foreign or toxic substances.
If anyone has any information related to these incidents, please call SCRAPS’s emergency line at (509) 477-2533. This level of cruelty can lead to a charge of animal cruelty in the first degree, a class C felony that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
We are devastated to report that a three-month-old Pit Bull puppy named Joey was thrown from a car in Brentwood, Long Island, on Saturday. A witness found the tiny 10-pound pup in a plastic bag near the Sagtikos State Parkway, covered in fleas and crying out for help. Joey suffered three broken vertebrae in his neck and is recovering at the Veterinary Medical Center of Long Island.
The ASPCA is offering a reward of $15,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case. This reward is in addition to a $5,000 reward offered by the Suffolk County SPCA. We are also providing a $10,000 grant to the Veterinary Medical Center to offset some of the costs of treating and caring for Joey.
“We were both outraged and saddened to hear about this disturbing case of violent abuse, and the callousness that was demonstrated by those responsible,” says Matt Bershadker, Senior Vice President of the ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty Group. “While our ultimate hope is that these types of heinous acts never occur, this is a message that cruelty toward animals will not be tolerated. We are pleased to be in a position to help those who are helping Joey.”
If you have information related to Joey’s case, please contact the Suffolk County SPCA by calling (631) 382-7722.
Cagney and Lacy before receiving treatment at the ASPCA Animal Hospital
Who could starve two puppies? Apparently, Gillian Irving could. On April 20, ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement (HLE) Agent Ann Kelly arrested the 27-year-old Bronx woman for allegedly neglecting and starving her two seven-month-old Pit Bulls, Cagney and Lacey.
It was last February when HLE Agents first responded to a complaint that two skinny dogs were living inside Irving’s Bronx apartment. Upon arrival, Agents seized the two emaciated dogs and transported them to the ASPCA Animal Hospital for life-saving treatment. ASPCA veterinarians determined Cagney and Lacey had been starved—weighing only 16.4 and 15.2 pounds.
After receiving treatment, Cagney now weighs 27.1 pounds and Lacey weighs 26.9 pounds—a 65 and 77 percent increase, respectively. Both dogs are continuing their recovering at the hospital and will eventually be made available for adoption.
As a result of her actions, Irving was charged with two counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty. If convicted, she faces up to two years in jail and/or a $2,000 fine. Irving is due in Bronx Criminal Court on August 22.
Take Action! We need you on our side! If you suspect an animal may be the victim of neglect or abuse, please report it. Visit our Report Cruelty FAQ to learn how to report cruelty in your neighborhood. And consider becoming an ASPCA Guardian—together we can fight animal cruelty across the country.
Shame on Skechers: The mega-shoe company recently filmed its new Super Bowl ad at an Arizona Greyhound track. The soon-to-be-released ad features a small French Bulldog wearing Skechers sneakers and competing against Greyhounds at Tucson Greyhound Park. The small dog wins.
Unfortunately, we know the same cannot be said for racing Greyhounds. Just last month, GREY2K USA, with funding from the ASPCA, released a report detailing the horrific conditions of race dogs in Florida. Dogs are confined in small cages for 20 hours or more a day, often wearing muzzles; they are bred excessively in the quest for good runners, with the “excess” puppies killed or otherwise discarded; and they regularly endure serious and fatal injuries. You can access a copy of the report here [PDF].
Take Action! Animal lovers across the nation are demanding Skechers pull the ad or suffer a major boycott of the company. To date, nearly 50,000 advocates have already signed a petition voicing this demand. For more information and to add your name to the petition, please visit ASPCA partner organization GREY2K USA.