Who doesn’t love the Fourth of July? It’s a weekend for block parties, barbeques, belly-flops in the pool and parades—all best when enjoyed with friends and family, and even better when you have the day off to celebrate with your pets! Have fun, but remember that certain traditional Independence Day activities might not be so fun, or so healthy, for the four-legged members of your household: yes, we’re talking about fireworks.
Fireworks are loud, and the crowds that go to see them can be scary, too. Animal shelters nationwide are flooded with runaway pets on the Fourth; studies show that nearly one in five lost pets went missing because they were fleeing the sound of fireworks or other loud noises. Losing a pet is not only heartbreaking, it’s also very dangerous for the animal, especially if he or she ends up roaming busy streets.
The best way to keep your pets safe is to make sure they don’t go missing in the first place: Please resist the urge to take your pets to go see fireworks. Instead, keep them safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home. Double check leashes and collars and make sure your pet’s ID tag is up to date. Be mindful when opening outside doors. And if the unthinkable does happen, the ASPCA’s new app is here to help: Utilizing the latest field research, this free tool provides users with an individual search plan based on their pet’s behavior and individual circumstances so they can search quickly and effectively to recover their lost pet.
As the nation’s second-largest animal welfare grantmaker, the ASPCA is constantly on the lookout for innovative, inspiring, and admirable programs that can benefit from our support. When we first heard about our latest grantee, Operation Blankets of Love, we knew we had found one such program.
Based in Los Angeles, Operation Blankets of Love (OBOL) is a grassroots organization that connects human services to animal welfare in a very unique way. Recognizing that many homeless people have the same love, dedication, and commitment to their pets’ well-being as more fortunate people do, OBOL’s current project—Homeless People’s Pets Community Outreach Project—will provided critical services to homeless people and their pets who are living in shelters or on the streets of L.A.
“Our program’s primary goal is to provide basic supplies and services to keep pets of the homeless happy and healthy, so that they can stay with their loving human companions rather than being relinquished to crowded city and county animals shelters with high euthanasia rates,” says Eileen Smulson, Founder & President of OBOL.
Tessa Madden, Development Coordinator at PATH (People Assisting the Homeless) has worked with Operation Blankets of Love for over three years. “They actively donate care, comfort and pet items that the residents need for their pets,” she says. “This includes necessary pet items they need to keep their dog or cat healthy and happy—food, treats, pet beds, blankets, towels, leashes, collars, toys, grooming supplies, and more.” In addition to these comfort/care items, OBOL also raises funds to provide spay and neuter surgeries for animals in need.
An ASPCA grant of $5,000 will help OBOL deliver needed items and resources to pet families living at eight shelters and social service centers or on the street, and in collaboration with organizations serving the homeless. While OBOL is able to procure much of their supplies through generous in-kind donations from corporations, foundations, and the public, the ASPCA grant will help defray delivery, transportation, and other operational costs to get the pet food and comfort/care items to where they’re needed most.
We are super excited to announce the launch of our latest mobile app for pet parents. The free app offers customized step-by-step instructions to find missing pets, expert advice on protecting pets before and during natural disasters, and a place to safely store and update pets’ medical records. It’s a handy tool to help pet parents make smart choices when those decisions matter most.
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.
Spring has sprung! If you’re anything like us, you’re itching to dust off your green thumb and get gardening. But before you break ground, keep in mind that a number of popular springtime plants can be poisonous to pets. To make sure that you don’t cultivate a danger-zone for your furry friends, we’ve put together a list of ten common toxic varieties:
Azalea/Rhododendron: Members of the Rhododendron species (also known as azalea) contain substances known as grayantoxins, which can produce vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, weakness, and depression of the central nervous system in animals. Severe azalea poisoning can even lead to death from cardiovascular collapse.
Chrysanthemum: These popular blooms are part of the Compositae family, which contains pyrethrins that may produce gastrointestinal upset including drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea, if eaten. In certain cases, depression and loss of coordination may also develop if enough of any part of the plant is consumed.
Cyclamen: Cyclamen species contain cyclamine, a toxin that can produce significant gastrointestinal irritation and intense vomiting. The highest concentration of cyclamine is actually in the root portion of cyclamen, though the entire plant should be avoided.
Daffodil: Yes, even the popular daffodil—aka Narcissus—can cause vomiting, salvation, and diarrhea when ingested. Large ingestions can lead to convulsions, low blood pressure, tremors, and cardiac arrhythmias. And beware: bulbs are the most poisonous part.
English Ivy: Also called branching ivy, glacier ivy, needlepoint ivy, sweetheart ivy, and California ivy, Hedera helix contains triterpenoid saponins that, if ingested, can result in vomiting, abdominal pain, hypersalivation and diarrhea.
Kalanchoe: Commonly referred to as the Mother-In-Law plant, the Kalanchoe species contains components that can produce gastrointestinal irritation, as well as those that are toxic to the heart, and can seriously affect cardiac rhythm and rate.
Lily: While they’re not toxic to dogs, members of the Lilium species are especially dangerous for cats. The ingestion of even a small amount of this plant can lead to severe kidney damage for your feline friend.
Oleander: All parts of Nerium oleander are considered toxic, as they contain cardiac glycosides that have the potential to cause serious effects—including gastrointestinal tract irritation, abnormal heart function, hypothermia and even death.
Sago Palm: Sago Palm, along with other members of the Cycad family, is highly toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. The ingestion of just one or two seeds from this plant can result in very serious side effects, including vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures and liver failure.
Tulip: Tulips contains toxins that can cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, and hypersalivation. Although the entire tulip plant is considered toxic, it is the bulb that is the most poisonous to animals.
Though this list covers ten of the most common springtime toxins, it is important to note that more than 700 plants have been identified as potentially harmful to animals! Please visit our full list of toxic and non-toxic plants to make sure that your garden is safe for your pets.
If you think that your animal is ill or may have ingested a poisonous substance, contact your local veterinarian or our 24-hour emergency poison hotline directly at 1-888-426-4435.
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