The ASPCA was excited to honor award-winning actresses Hilary Swank and Edie Falco at our 18th annual ASPCA Bergh Ball on Thursday, April 9. Emceed by actress Lake Bell and designer Isaac Mizrahi, the “pup art” -themed event was held at New York City’s Plaza Hotel and helped raise funds for the ASPCA’s lifesaving work on behalf of homeless, abused and neglected animals.
Swank received the ASPCA Compassion Award, which recognizes individuals in entertainment and the arts who have made outstanding contributions to animal welfare by utilizing their creative talents and prominence to bring attention and action to the plight of vulnerable and homeless dogs and cats.
Falco received the ASPCA Voice for Animals Award, which recognizes influencers who use traditional and modern media to increase awareness and inspire action on behalf of animal in crisis in the United States.
“Hilary Swank and Edie Falco have as much compassion as they have talent, and we’re thankful they’ve chosen to dedicate considerable time and energy to help animals in crisis,” said ASPCA President & CEO Matt Bershadker. “The work they’ve done has helped save and protect countless lives, and the ASPCA is proud to recognize their commitment with these awards.”
The event also featured playing cards that showcased photos of dogs at cats at the ASPCA Adoption Center in New York City, as well as dog and cat prints by Andy Warhol, licensed by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Posing as jokers in the deck are Bravo’s Andy Cohen, with his dog Wacha, and actor Nathan Lane, with his dog Mabel.
Thanks to everyone who attended, and congratulations to our 2015 award recipients!
Grab your party hats! Friday, April 10, marks the ASPCA’s birthday and we’re thrilled to be celebrating 149 years of lifesaving work for animals across the country.
When ASPCA founder Henry Bergh first spoke up for animals, America was not a very animal-friendly place. But Bergh, a gifted orator with influential friends, rallied people to the cause and succeeded in getting the New York State Legislature to pass a charter officially incorporating the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) on April 10, 1866. Just nine days later, the first effective anti-cruelty law was passed and, with a team of three, the ASPCA went to work to enforce it. By the time Bergh died in 1888, 37 of the 38 states in the Union had passed anti-cruelty laws.
We’ve accomplished a great deal since then. From operating New York City’s first equine ambulance (two years before the City’s first ambulance for people) to our veterinary advancements during the 1920s to our recent accomplishments in Los Angeles, we have a proud history that continues today.
We’re honored to work every day to assist animals nationwide and we are proud of you, our supporters, for trusting and enabling us to do this important job. Thank you for fighting alongside us these 149 years!
Wednesday, April 8, marks the ASPCA’s second annual National Dog Fighting Awareness Day (NDFAD), and this year we are working harder than ever to spread awareness about this brutal form of animal cruelty. Read on to see how ASPCA staffers and supporters are lending their voice to this important cause, and find out how you can get involved, too!
At the ASPCA offices in New York City, staff members vowed to “Get Tough” on dog fighting by posing for photos with pit bulls and sharing them on social media using the hashtag #GetTough.
Luckily, you don’t have to be an ASPCA staffer or a professional wrestler to take part in National Dog Fighting Awareness Day. Here are three ways you can support NDFAD:
Get Tough. To join our #GetTough movement, simply take a selfie with one of our free, downloadable #GetTough posters and sharables, then post it to social media using the hashtag #GetTough.
Take Action. Sign our petition to tell the Department of Justice (DoJ) that you want to see more federal dog fighting prosecutions.
Donate. Support our work to defeat dog fighting by making a gift to the ASPCA today.
Animals around the country are counting on your compassion, your outrage and your willingness to stop their suffering. By taking one (or more!) of the actions listed above, you’ll be joining a growing group of animal-lovers who are dedicated to putting an end to this nightmare. Thank you for your voice!
The last Tuesday of every February is World Spay Day. To celebrate this day—and highlight the life-saving importance of spay/neuter services—we checked in with some of the ASPCA’s own Spay/Neuter Advocates who are on the ground every day making a difference in the lives of animals and their families.
On a recent, frigid January morning in East Harlem, ASPCA community advocates Selena Edwards and Arturo Arana visited Theresa J. to check on her eight-month-old pit bull, Coco, who had been spayed two weeks before.
Selena and Arturo first met Theresa and Coco last September. They offered a free ID tag for Coco, whom Theresa had adopted from a friend. Theresa considered letting Coco have “just one litter,” but decided to have her spayed after being encouraged by Selena and Arturo.
Coco is one of thousands of owned dogs and cats who live in high poverty areas with limited access to veterinary care and or other pet resources, and where pets are most at risk of neglect, cruelty, relinquishment to shelters, and euthanasia.
But with focused initiatives, the ASPCA is concentrating its attention on pets—like Coco—most at risk.
ASPCA CARES (Community, Advocacy, Resources, Enrichment, and Service) employs advocates who visit communities one city block at a time to ensure every resident or family on that block has the opportunity to take advantage of the ASPCA’s free and low-cost services.
Their dedication pays off. In 2014, the ASPCA provided 3,782 spay/neuter surgeries in New York and 3,359 in Los Angeles. These numbers comprise 16 percent of the ASPCA’s 2014 total of 42,584 spay/neuter surgeries, more than ever before in a single year in the organization’s 148-year history.*
Christopher Keith and Desire Menendez, community advocates who canvas the Claremont Village area of the Bronx, go door-to-door in the Morris Houses, a public housing complex comprising several blocks. Across the country, community advocate Elizabeth Gamboa knocks on doors in South L.A. Like her counterparts in NYC, Elizabeth offers free ID tags in addition to information on spay/neuter services, and the many benefits they provide
“Our community advocates engage residents in a very grassroots way—knocking on doors and introducing themselves,” says Jocelyn Kessler, Director of Operations for the ASPCA Spay/Neuter Operations team. “They build trust with residents to improve the quality of lives for both the animals and the people who care for them.”
ASPCA advocates Lisa DeLarios and Isadora Peraza-Martinez regularly visit neighborhoods in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx. “We meet a lot of pets that are related and that helps spread the word,” says Isadora. “In one building, all of the cats were from the same source—they were all ‘Bubbles’ babies,” said Lisa.
Lisa and Isadora convinced Bubbles’ owner to have her spayed, and even transported the black and white tuxedo cat to the ASPCA on January 14 for pre-surgery blood work. They are now targeting other cats and dogs in the building.
Margie O., a client in the Bronx, welcomes Chris and Desire each time they visit with home-made corn cakes. Although Margie has undergone two open-heart surgeries and is raising her five-year-old granddaughter, she made sure all of her dogs were altered with the ASPCA’s help.
As Chris says, “If that doesn’t motivate you, what does?”
*The ASPCA provided 16,602 surgeries to NYC residents within the targeted areas via its mobile spay/neuter clinics, which have been providing free and low-cost spay/neuter since 1997. Two stationary clinics in New York—at 92nd Street in Manhattan and in Glendale, Queens—serve the rescue community, ASPCA Adoption Center, Animal Care & Control of NYC, Community Intervention Advocacy (CIA) clients, and Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs—and have doubled their capacity, with 18,840 surgeries last year. The ASPCA also provided 225 grants totaling over $3.7 million dollars to other organizations nationwide for spay/neuter.
More than 120 cats and dogs braved chilly temperatures for free vaccines and microchips during a “Community Pet Party” hosted by the ASPCA and the NYPD’s 49th Precinct on Saturday, November 15 at Bronx Park East in the Bronx, New York.
Longtime Bronx resident Ceferino Miranda was one of the first in line with his Westie, Chiquita, one of three dogs he brought. He found Chiquita in the streets and now cares for five dogs. “I was going to get all their vaccines earlier this month,” said the Vietnam veteran, “but I fell short.”
Pets also received free ID tags, ASPCA fleece blankets, and Halo pet food provided by Freekibble. Some residents also received dog houses.
“For many animal owners, getting basic resources for their pets can be difficult, so we want to do all we can to help, especially as winter approaches,” said Colleen Doherty, manager of the ASPCA’s Cruelty Intervention Advocacy team, which staffed and promoted the event. New York City’s Office of Emergency Management gave out free flashlights and information on including pets in emergency preparedness plans.
Detective Victor DiPierro of the 49th Precinct said he was glad to see people “taking advantage of these free services.”
One of them, Althea Hall, sat with Dynasty, a nine-year-old Rottweiler with a glistening coat. “She used to be my daughter’s,” said Althea, explaining how she once cared for Dynasty and got attached. “She’s mine now, and I want to do right by her.”
Nearby, Shadow, a five-year-old black cat, poked her head through the top of her carrier, blinking and soaking in the fall sunshine, before hunkering back down. When it was time for her vaccines, siblings Starlyza and Ricco Medina carried Shadow into the ASPCA vehicle designated for cats.