In June, we told you about a dog fighting bust the ASPCA and New York Police Department conducted in the Bronx. Today, we’re happy to share some good news: 26 of the dogs have found placements with rescue groups, and another seven of them have placements in the works! We’re hoping continued rehabilitation and forever homes are just around the corner.
Partners that have embraced these canine survivors include St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, New Jersey; Charles Henderson Animal Rescue in Brooklyn, New York; Columbia Greene Humane Society in Hudson, New York, and Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire in Bedford. Some dogs have also been transferred to the ASPCA’s Adoption Center in Manhattan.
These dogs’ lives are already so different from the ones they led just a few short months ago. On June 21, we found them living in the windowless basement of a six-story apartment building with a makeshift fighting arena.Also discovered on scene were a loaded .25-caliber handgun, U.S. currency and other equipment associated with dog fighting—including dog treadmills, harnesses, muzzles, syringes and a shopping cart full of raw chicken parts.
For more than two months, ASPCA responders cared for and provided the dogs with extensive socialization, a healthy diet, medical care and exercise at a temporary shelter. Each dog was carefully evaluated by a team of animal behavior professionals prior to being transferred to the rescue groups.
While the majority of the dogs in this case may be rehabilitated, some were far too dangerous for placement. These dogs were victims of the brutalities of dog fighting—bred over generations to exhibit aggression, trained to fight with lethal intent, subjected to a life of inhumane treatment and, as a result, displayed highly aggressive behavior. After extensive evaluations, all decisions to euthanize were based on recommendations of multiple behavior professionals who weighed in objectively and independently, with the best interest of each individual animal in mind.
The dogs’ owner, Raul Sanchez of the Bronx, was arrested during the raid and arraigned on 63 counts of animal fighting, six counts of aggravated animal cruelty, six counts of animal cruelty, and one count of criminal possession of a weapon. If convicted, he faces up to four years in jail.
The ASPCA’s Legal Advocacy team is providing support to the Bronx District Attorney’s Office in this case.
As the Southeast continued to cope with flooding in the wake of Hurricane Isaac, ASPCA responders spent Labor Day weekend knee-deep in floodwater saving lives. Because of the efforts of ASPCA responders and others, hundreds of animals—dogs, cats, horses and even deer—are now safe.
In Mississippi, an ASPCA team worked to rescue stranded animals, including a young fawn in Harrison County who became trapped on a small piece of high ground after her mother swam to safety. Just as her patch of land was submerged, our responders arrived to take her to safety. She is now with the Wildlife Rehabilitation and Nature Preservation Society of Long Beach, Mississippi.
Meanwhile in Louisiana five teams—comprised of responders from the ASPCA, Louisiana State Animal Response Team, Texas State Animal Response Team and Calcasieu Parish—together handled search and rescue requests.
A team of responders assisted the coastally situated St. John Parish Animal Shelter in LaPlace, Louisiana, purchasing equipment to deep-clean the kennel after flooding robbed it of most of its space for dogs. St. John’s is getting back on its feet but has severely limited space. In response, the ASPCA transported nearly 70 dogs and cats from St. John’s.
To help local shelters find space to accept animals rescued from flooding, our Animal Relocation team also moved 80 adoptable cats and dogs from Plaquemines Parish and 20 from Jefferson Parish. In total, the ASPCA relocated 90 dogs and 84 cats to shelters with space to care for them: the generous Humane Society of North Texas, SPCA of Texas and the Atlanta Humane Society. (Thank you!)
Our work is not yet complete. If you’re seeking a way to help, you can make a gift to the ASPCA here. The ASPCA relies on the support of compassionate people like you to conduct rescues like this one and to assist animals facing other crises.
As you know, exactly seven years after Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Isaac is devastating Gulf Coast communities. Waist-high flooding has forced thousands to evacuate their homes, and as first responders work to rescue people stranded by the storm, the ASPCA is planning rescue operations for stranded and imperiled animals.
The ASPCA’s response to this crisis is only just beginning and is evolving by the minute, but we have taken the following measures:
Our top experts are working closely with the Louisiana State Animal Response Team to plan and execute rescue.
We’re deploying responders to conduct door-to-door rescue of animals in flooded or abandoned homes.
We’re assisting a Louisiana animal shelter facing flooding.
We are supplying boats and other equipment for critical water rescue missions.
We transported animals from a Mississippi shelter to make room for possible Isaac victims.
If you’re seeking a way to help, you can make a gift to the ASPCA here. The ASPCA relies on the support of compassionate people like you to conduct rescues like this one and to assist animals facing other crises.
In preparation for Hurricane Isaac, the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response (FIR) Team has kicked into high gear and headed to the Southeast, providing communities in need with transport, planning, grants and other assistance.
Today, at the request of the Humane Society of Southern Mississippi (HSSM) in Gulfport, we’re relocating animals from that shelter to the Broward County Humane Society in Florida.
“Having been through Hurricane Katrina and responding to numerous disasters, we learned that by assisting agencies with pre-evacuation efforts and getting animals out of harm’s way, we can greatly reduce the number of animals impacted by the hurricane,” says Dr. Dick Green, FIR Team Director of Disaster Response.
“The ASPCA is pleased to be in a position to assist the Humane Society of South Mississippi and be part of a collaborative effort to relocate these dogs and give them a second chance,” he adds.
Dr. Green and the FIR team are monitoring the situation closely and have organized sheltering and water rescue teams to support the local agencies as needed.
The ASPCA is also providing emergency grants in communities affected by Isaac, including to the Louisiana State Animal Rescue Team to increase its water rescue capacity.
In a happy coincidence, 89 dogs are making their way from Baton Rouge Animal Alliance in Louisiana to New York aboard a Sumter Disaster Animal Response Team vehicle, part of a scheduled transport arranged through the ASPCA Animal Relocation program. The dogs, mostly small-breed adults and large-breed puppies, will get a second chance at finding loving families at Pets Alive shelters in Westchester and Orange counties.
If you live in an area threatened by severe weather, the most important thing you can do for animals is ensure the safety of your own pets. For more information on how to keep yourself and your pet safe in an emergency, please read our complete list of Disaster Readiness tips.
Watch this blog for more updates on the ASPCA’s response to Isaac.
Hershey, before receiving treatment at the ASPCA Animal Hospital
Today the ASPCA arrested Queens resident Grimilda Amil for allegedly neglecting and starving her three-year-old male Yorkshire terrier, who has been recovering under our care for nearly two months.
Amil brought her Yorkie, Hershey, to an ASPCA Mobile/Spay Neuter Clinic on June 27. Alarmed at Hershey’s condition, Clinic staff called our Humane Law Enforcement Agents, who quickly responded.
Amil relinquished ownership of Hershey to the ASPCA, and Agents transported the tiny dog to the ASPCA Animal Hospital.
There, veterinarians determined Hershey— whom they found to be emaciated, anemic and suffering from pressure sores—had been starved. At that time, Hershey weighed just 5.2 pounds. Today he weighs in at 10.1 pounds, a 94% increase!
Hershey is completing his recovery in a caring ASPCA foster home. When he’s ready, he’ll be made available for adoption.
Amil, 55, was charged with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty. If convicted, she faces up to one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. She is due in Queens Criminal Court on October 4.
If you suspect you’ve witnessed animal cruelty, please don’t hesitate to report it.