In February, we told you about the ASPCA’s collaboration with the Urban Resource Institute in support of their “People and Animals Living Safely” program, URIPALS. The first ever initiative of its kind, URIPALS provides safe shelter not only for domestic violence victims, but for their pets as well. Now, in an exciting update, the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence (OCDV) has announced their own campaign in support of the program.
In recognition of Pet Safety Awareness Month, the OCDV campaign will canvass New York City via retail outlets and grassroots distribution with the goal of raising awareness about the URIPALS program. Participating retailers include Petland Discounts, C-Town, and Bravo Supermarkets.
“Survivors who flee an abusive home no longer need to leave their beloved pets behind,” says OCDV Commissioner Rosemonde Pierre-Louis. “Now, the entire family can find safety and security together in a supportive domestic violence shelter.”
Studies show that as many as 48% of domestic violence victims stay in abusive situations out of fear of what would happen if they left their pets behind. One survivor in URI’s shelter stated, “My dogs are like my children, and I couldn’t imagine leaving them behind…I was so relieved to find URIPALS and escape violence with my whole family.” URI is currently the only one of NYC’s 50 domestic violence shelters that accommodates pets.
Nathaniel Fields, President and CEO of URI, states, “With this campaign, OCDV is taking a bold step in spreading the word about URIPALS so that we can help more New Yorkers escape abuse and rebuild their lives as a family unit.”
To learn more about URIPALS, and for tips on keeping the entire family safe in domestic violence situations, please visit www.urinyc.org. For help from one of OCDV’s New York City Family Justice Centers, visit www.nyc.gov/domesticviolence or call the city’s Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-621-4673 or dial 311.
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We’re excited to announce today that the ASPCA has dedicated $25 million to assist animals in need in Los Angeles, California in a multi-year effort. Like many communities, Los Angeles faces immense challenges related to homeless animals—roughly half of the animals that enter L.A. area shelters do not find homes. We plan to build on the strong foundation created by Los Angeles’ animal welfare community, working closely with local groups to provide critical services to save lives and help keep families and their pets together.
The ASPCA’s efforts in L.A. will include five key programs:
Spay/neuter: The ASPCA will operate a spay/neuter facility for animals owned by South L.A. residents, as well as animals sheltered at the South Los Angeles Animal Care Center–Chesterfield Square facility. Procedures performed at the facility will be fully subsidized.
Subsidies for local rescue groups: We’ll provide funding to subsidize fees incurred by local rescue groups when transferring animals from the Los Angeles County and Los Angeles City shelter system into their facilities or networks.
Animal relocation: The ASPCA will kick start a relocation program to move animals from L.A. metropolitan area shelters to communities where they’ll have better chances of being adopted.
Safety net programs: These programs are designed to keep animals in their homes by addressing the needs of pet parents with scarce resources and limited access to critical services.
ASPCA grant funding: We’ll provide funding annually to local partners for intervention programs, spay/neuter programs and medical care for animals in low income areas.
In addition to Los Angeles City Animal Services and Los Angeles County Animal Control, the ASPCA is collaborating with Best Friends Animal Society in support of their No-Kill Los Angeles initiative and local animal welfare organizations including Downtown Dog Rescue, The Amanda Foundation, Stray Cat Alliance, Fix Nation, The Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, Found Animals Foundation, Bark Avenue and others.
We’re looking forward to this exciting new venture on the West Coast, and we can’t wait to help countless animals in need in the L.A. area.
At the ASPCA, helping horses isn’t just something we preach—it’s something we practice in our work every single day. Intelligent, sensitive, and true American icons, horses have been at the heart of our mission since the very beginning, and in honor of our second annual National Help a Horse Day on April 26, we wanted to share the amazing story of Benny.
We first heard about Benny from our friends Joyce and Nona at Last Stop Horse Rescue in Prentiss, Maine. Last Stop is the recipient of an ASPCA grant: every three weeks, our grant funds the delivery of 20 bales of hay to Last Stop to feed the rescued horses.
We recently checked in with Last Stop, and that’s when they told us Benny’s story. Starved, emaciated and close to death, Benny arrived at Last Stop in August 2013. The four-year-old gelding showed clear signs of abuse and neglect, and was so weak that he could not stand on his own legs. The day of his arrival, he weighed just 562 pounds.
The staff at Last Stop spent several days trying to keep Benny standing, but ultimately, the best option was to place him in a sling hanging from a beam in the barn. At the recommendation of Dr. Ron Miles Benny was introduced to food slowly and in small amounts.
Slowly but surely, Benny gained strength. Over the 12 days that he was in the sling, Joyce says “we saw improvement each day with signs of brighter eyes, moving his feet more, and being able to consume more of the food that was being offered to him.” The team at Last Stop fed him every hour around the clock, setting an alarm to ensure that he got meals throughout the night as well.
After nearly two weeks in a sling, Benny stood for the first time on August 15. It was a joyous day for all involved.
It has now been over six months since Benny arrived at Last Stop. He currently weighs 930 pounds, and uses his newfound strength to gallop around the pasture with his fellow horses. Despite years of abuse and neglect, Joyce says, “Benny is our miracle boy. Food and love was all he needed.”
Stories like Benny’s are what inspired us to create National Help a Horse Day. All too often, these amazing animals are mistreated, neglected, or even sent to slaughter. The ASPCA is determined to spread education and activism on behalf of equines everywhere, and Benny is proof that every horse is worth helping. Looking back at Benny’s recovery, Joyce says, “This is what you have done for these horses with the grant from the ASPCA. Thank you!”
To see Benny in action, please watch Last Stop Horse Rescue’s video of his recovery. Be sure to visit our Help a Horse page for information about events in your community. The ASPCA is awarding $10,000 grants to the top five equine organizations whose events inspire the most community engagement and support.
As the nation’s second-largest animal welfare grant maker, there’s nothing the ASPCA loves more than to see our grantees succeed. That’s why we were so thrilled to meet Wiley, a wolf-dog hybrid who stopped by the ASPCA office in New York City as part of an educational visit from Lockwood Animal Rescue Center (LARC).
Last October, the ASPCA provided LARC with a $50,000 grant to shelter 25 wolf-dog hybrids. The wolf-dogs were rescued from Dancing Brook Wolf Lodge, a sub-standard so-called “sanctuary” in Bristol, New Hampshire, after the owners were evicted from the property. Since wolf-dogs are not adoptable to the public, they needed a safe place to live and thrive. Through LARC’s “Warriors and Wolves” program, these giant canines have received daily care and rehabilitation from veterans, helping them heal from their respective traumatic experiences.
Visit newarc.org to learn more about how the rescued wolf-dogs are doing!
Please note: The ASPCA does not support exotic pet ownership. In most states, wolf-dog ownership is either illegal or restricted. We are grateful to organizations like LARC who provide these animals with much-needed sanctuary.
Nearly 100 lost and stray dogs brought to Louisville Metro Animal Services (LMAS) in Kentucky each month find their way back to their pet parents, thanks in part to the efforts of a new lost and found coordinator funded by the ASPCA.
“That’s a 40% increase over what we’ve had in previous years,” says Margaret Brosko, senior manager of special initiatives and communications for LMAS. “But the data doesn’t even begin to tell the story.”
LMAS is one of three partner agencies (along with the Kentucky Humane Society and Alley Cat Advocates) comprising the ASPCA Partnership in Louisville. Last July, with a grant from the ASPCA, LMAS hired Lost and Found Coordinator Megan Fox, a former customer service representative, who once dreamed of becoming a large animal veterinarian.
Since Fox’s hiring, the abundance of happy endings and reunions have been bringing tears of joy to pet parents, LMAS shelter staff and volunteers alike.
There was the Boxer, Rocky, from Jeffersonville, Indiana, who ended up at LMAS 10 days after disappearing on July 4, 2013. Fox spotted a posting for a lost Boxer on Craigslist, and days later noticed Rocky in LMAS’s kennels.
“When I contacted Rocky’s owner, he was hesitant to come in because of the distance; he figured his dog was gone forever,” she said. “But it was him!” When she spoke with the owner recently, he said Rocky is “fat, happy and crazy.”
There was a Husky, Sheba, who had been missing for two years. On November 1, 2013, she arrived at LMAS as a stray. Her microchip enabled shelter workers to trace her back to her pet parent, who picked her up that very day.
The LMAS website allows citizens not only to register lost and found pets, but also to view the latest lost and found pet entries. The public is also encouraged to call or visit the shelter if their pet is lost.
“We’re lucky to have several really good resources for lost and found pets in our area,” adds Fox. “The people are dedicated and post sightings of lost or found pets. I’m in daily communication with them and try to be the keeper of that information.”
With the spring and summer months ahead, LMAS is bracing for a high intake of strays. But Brosko is hopeful. “We’re lucky to have so many people who care about getting them back home. Our entire team helps people fill out reports, walk through our kennels and share information. We are continually evolving and improving—and people really feel like they’re part of the process.”
That’s especially true for Fox: “I absolutely love being a part of this team of amazing, compassionate, dedicated people, and I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to help animals every day!”