We’re pleased to report that 47 of the horses have been placed with adopters, foster families or rescue groups to be made available for adoption. An additional four horses will be transported to 808 Equine Rescue in Calhan, Colorado, on December 21. Spokane County Regional Animal Protective Services (SCRAPS), an ASPCA Partner Community agency, will soon transport the remaining horses to a boarding facility.
When we first arrived in Spokane one month ago, the horses were severely emaciated and dehydrated from having had no access to water or acceptable food. They were discovered living on an abandoned property, and were seized as part of a cruelty investigation. We’ve been on the ground assisting SCRAPS by helping to shelter and care for the horses, as well as working to find them new homes. We’ll continue to support the agency remotely with boarding costs and placement for the remaining horses.
One of our favorite stories of the year belongs to Joy, a young cat who was saved from the streets of New York City during Hurricane Sandy. Our staff at the temporary shelter we set up for storm-displaced animals wasn’t sure if she was a homeless kitty or a lost pet. Weeks passed and no one claimed the skinny, skittish feline.
We folded Joy into our regular population of adoptable animals and discovered she needed extra help learning to trust people. With lots of socialization from ASPCA staff, Joy came out of her shell—but a whole year passed and Joy, our last Sandy cat, still hadn’t found a home.
Finally, in November 2013, Joy was adopted by Rob C., a fellow Sandy survivor who lost his home and business to the deadly storm. Robert saw Joy on the local news—her story resonated with him, and together they are getting a fresh start and making a new life.
We love to hear happy adoption stories, and we were especially excited recently when adopter Terry G. reported that Kona, one of nearly 100 dogs we rescued from a life of fighting in March 2013, is thriving as a beloved pet in the suburbs of Chicago. We cared for this special pup after assisting in a federal dog fighting raid spanning Texas, Missouri and Kansas, and we’re thrilled that she is finally receiving the love she deserves.
Please take a moment to watch video footage from our multi-state dog fighting raid in March.
Sadly, this wasn’t our only encounter with large-scale dog fighting operations in 2013. In August, at the request of the United States Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), we assisted in a multi-state, federal dog fighting raid of an operation throughout Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Texas. We rescued more than 360 dogs ranging in age from just several days to 10-12 years, who had been left to suffer in extreme heat with no visible fresh water or food. Many were emaciated with scars and wounds consistent with dog fighting, and some were tethered by chains and cables that were attached to cinder blocks and car tires.
When the ASPCA arrived at the home of Remy’s former owner in June 2013, we found a one-year-old Pit Bull who was too weak to stand and lying in a cage with feces and urine. The owner surrendered Remy to us, and we immediately took action to offer relief to the sweet, suffering canine.
The neighbors heard a dog cry out in pain on more than one occasion. A young Pit Bull named Remy, allegedly the victim of repeated abuse, needed help. When we arrived at the scene in June 2013, we found a gentle puppy who was so weak and frail, she couldn’t even stand.
Remy’s owner surrendered the suffering pup, who was brought to the ASPCA where she received immediate veterinary care for a host of ailments. She had two broken legs, skin disease and severe muscle atrophy.
After intensive treatment, which included surgery and hydrotherapy, Remy began to heal, but she will always walk with a limp—a reminder of all she has overcome.Please take a moment to watch and share our video of Remy’s amazing recovery.
Of course, millions of other animals still need us, so we’re also thankful that we can count on you as we fight for their lives, too. We hope you'll consider giving todayif you possibly can. It means the world to us, and to every animal we can assist together.
ASPCA President & CEO Matthew Bershadker (right) on location at a dog fighting bust earlier this year.
By ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker
The holidays are a big distraction this time of year, but all the more reason to keep our eyes on the ball – and in this case, on neglected horses in need.
As you may know, in November, our Field Investigations and Response (FIR) Team traveled to Spokane, Washington, to assist Spokane County Regional Animal Protective Services (SCRAPS) with the sheltering and daily care of 63 horses seized as part of an animal cruelty investigation.
So while many of us were celebrating Thanksgiving, the FIR team was on the ground helping to provide continuing care for these severely neglected animals (among many ASPCA staffers on the job that day). Sixty-two of the horses are responding well to treatment and are in recovery, while one, sadly, did not survive.
The negligent owner is still missing; a hearing to determine custody of the horses will be held on December 16. But our priority continues to be the health and welfare of these animals. We can’t undo their suffering, but with your support we can show them care and love, and put them on a brighter path.
Rescuing this many large animals is, of course, no easy task. So my big thanks go to SCRAPS, to the ASPCA field teams who put these horses before their own holidays, and to you as well for making such important work possible.
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