In late March, the ASPCA assisted federal authorities in a three-state dog fighting raid and the removal of 100 canine victims. Tim Rickey, Vice President of the ASPCA’s Field Investigations & Response team, has been on the front lines of this operation since the beginning. Here's his report about the remarkable sheltering facility that has been created to care for the dogs involved in this case.
We're pleased to report that the dogs are being very well cared for while in the custody of the ASPCA. The ASPCA’s Animal Cruelty Behavior team has been in the field from day one to oversee the animals' enrichment, socialization and exercise to ensure that these dogs are receiving all the care and attention they deserve.
The dogs are housed individually in a pod system. The kennels surround a 20x20 exercise area that the dogs have access to based on a carefully designed plan by the exercise coordinator. The exercise coordinator works in tandem with the behavior program to ensure the dogs enjoy adequate time outside their kennels several times a day.
The environment is relaxed and quiet with a strong focus on enrichment. There is very little barking, a strong indication the animals are not feeling stressed during their recovery. Responders go in to provide daily human socialization and interaction, and provide them with enrichment items like toys, treats and lots of love.
Every effort is made to keep the dogs focused so they don't become bored, which can lead to destructive behavior. We have observed that the dogs are responding very well, becoming trained to enjoy their playtime, learning to cooperate, and adjusting to human contact.
Stay tuned to ASPCA.org for updates on this ongoing rescue.
Last year, ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Agents arrested a Staten Island man after he threw his friend’s cat off an eighth-floor balcony. This week justice was served.
Buriell Jones, 57, pleaded guilty to felony aggravated cruelty to animals, the top count against him, and was sentenced Monday to four months in jail. He is also no longer allowed to own an animal.
This despicable act occurred on Oct. 2, 2012, after Jones began arguing with his friend. Jones eventually threw the cat — a seven-year-old black-and-white Domestic Shorthair—from the apartment balcony on Broad Street in Staten Island.
Unfortunately, when ASPCA Agents arrived, the cat had already passed away. A necropsy revealed the cat died from severe blunt-force trauma.
“Four months may not seem like enough punishment to fit the crime, but at least this man will no longer be able to own an animal,” says Stacy Wolf, ASPCA Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel.
We work hard to arrest and help prosecute anyone who abuses animals, but we need your help to ensure those who harm animals pay for their crimes. If you suspect animal cruelty in your area, please report it. Animals are counting on us.
On April 12, the ASPCA arrested a Bronx man for shooting his neighbor’s Maltese, Spike, after the dog wandered into his yard.
Donald Savino, 73, had signs in his yard that said “keep your dog off the grass.” When Spike slipped out the door and into Savino’s yard, Savino allegedly shot him with an air rifle from his window.
“He was smelling a tree,” Spike’s pet parent, Marco Lopez, told The New York Daily News. “Suddenly, I hear this noise....I hear my dog cry—he was screaming in pain.”
Lopez rushed his dog to an emergency veterinarian, but Spike couldn’t be saved and was humanely euthanized. ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Agents took Spike’s body to the ASPCA Animal Hospital, where our forensic veterinarians determined he had been shot twice, in two separate incidents, and that his injuries would have been fatal.
“You have no idea all the pain we went through,” Lopez told The Daily News. “We loved (Spike) so much....It was such a terrible way that he died.”
Savino was charged with aggravated animal cruelty, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal mischief and possession of an air rifle.
We can’t believe what happened to Spike, and we’re fighting every day to stop animal cruelty and ensure those who harm animals pay for their crimes. If you know of animal cruelty in your area, please report it. Animals are counting on us.
We’ve wanted to tell you about Vampiro for some time, and you won’t believe what he’s been through. In January, ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Agents responded to a call from NYC Animal Care & Control about a six-year-old Chihuahua who had been abandoned in a pet store.
The dog, Vampiro, was just skin and bones. At the ASPCA Animal Hospital, veterinarians found Vampiro to be emaciated, dehydrated and suffering from an untreated skin ailment, all caused by prolonged inadequate nutrition. He was also found to be blind. Our vets gave Vampiro IV fluids, medication, water and a balanced diet right away.
Meanwhile, AC&C told us that Vampiro had been adopted in 2006 by Brooklyn resident Venus Laventure, 50. On February 25, the ASPCA arrested Laventure. She 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 court on May 13.
After a few months at the ASPCA, Vampiro is doing much better. In fact, he’ll soon be made available for adoption—and his future family is in for a treat! Vampiro is a sweetheart who loves to give doggie kisses.
On April 3, ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Agents arrested Alex Dykes, 49, for allegedly beating his one-year-old male Shih Tzu mix, Bentley. In September, our agents visited Dykes’ Brooklyn home to investigate a complaint that a dog had been beaten and needed immediate help.
At the residence, Agents found poor Bentley in pain, and they knew something was wrong. They transported him to the ASPCA Animal Hospital for treatment. Our vets treated Bentley with oxygen immediately, ultimately concluding he had a brain hemorrhage and a fractured skull and jaw due to blunt force trauma. He is now recuperating in a foster home.
Dykes was charged with one count of aggravated animal cruelty, a felony, and one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty. If convicted, he faces up to two years in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.
Looking at Bentley’s sweet face, we have to wonder: Who could do this to an animal?