At the ASPCA, we love our volunteers. These kindhearted people give their time and love to animals in our care, and we rely on them to help with many aspects of our shelter operations. Without our volunteers, we couldn’t do all the good things we do!
If you are in the New York City area and are interested in volunteering at the ASPCA Adoption Center in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, here are a few things to note:
All ASPCA volunteers must be at least 16 years old.
Volunteers must be able to commit to a minimum of eight hours per month for a minimum of six months. Due to the extensive training requirements, we are not able to accept short-term volunteers.
The ASPCA does not accept volunteers needing to fulfill court-appointed community service.
Some of the major volunteer opportunities available at the ASPCA include Adoption Counselors, Cat Volunteers, Dog Volunteers, Foster Caretakers and Veterinary Assistants. For active volunteers who demonstrate advanced animal-handling skills, other opportunities may exist pending further training. For detailed descriptions of each position, visit our official Volunteer page.
If you’re eager to get started, please note the ASPCA’s Volunteer Program accepts online applications on a quarterly basis (sorry, we no longer accept paper applications). The next application period will be from Monday, December 1 at 10:00 A.M. through Sunday, December 8—so be sure to return and apply in that time!
Not in New York City? Don’t worry! There are plenty of fantastic animal welfare organizations across the country that can use your help. Check out the shelter finder tool to locate the shelter nearest you. Good luck and happy volunteering!
It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since more than 300 dogs were rescued from lives of misery and horror in one of the largest federal dog fighting busts in U.S. history. The August 2013 raid spanned Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Texas, and resulted in ten arrests and the rescue of 367 dogs, ranging in age from just several days to 10-12 years.
The dogs were left to suffer in extreme heat, with no visible fresh water or food, and some were tethered by chains and cables attached to cinder blocks and car tires.
What a difference a year makes. Thanks in large part to the incredible efforts of countless organizations* and volunteers, many of the dogs are now enjoying carefree lives of comfort in the loving arms of families who adore them. We’ve told you some of their stories (who can forget Timmy, the poster pup?) but to mark the one-year anniversary of the dogs’ freedom, we have a few more updates complete with adorable photos. Please enjoy and share these inspiring happy tails using the hashtag #367rescue.
Arabelle Sharon N. was volunteering with Plenty of Pit Bulls in Gainesville, Florida, when she heard about Arabelle, a senior dog and one of several who had been used as a breeder. “I have a soft spot for the seniors and couldn’t wait to meet her,” Sharon says. “It was love at first sight for both of us. I spent some time with her in her kennel and when I got up to leave, she got up and barked as if to say, ‘please don’t go.’” It was the first time since the rescue that anyone had heard Arabelle bark. This lucky lady adores her new family, including her canine siblings, and loves life and everything it has to offer her. Sharon adds: “From the moment we arrived at the house, it was as if she had been waiting her whole life for a home of her own.”
Hope (FKA Mabel) Mabel was one of six dogs recently transported to the Great Plains SPCA in Merriam, Kansas to find her forever home. Mabel’s stay at Great Plains SPCA didn’t last long—three days after her arrival, Lisa G. saw Mabel on the local news station and immediately contacted the shelter expressing interest in adopting the rambunctious pooch. When Lisa saw that Mabel’s shelter ID collar read “923,” she smiled. It was the same as her birthday, 9/23. “It was meant to be,” says Lisa. “We just love her to pieces.”Mabel, now renamed Hope, spends her time with her canine sister, Jasmine, who was a rescued bait dog from a separate dog fighting case, and two human siblings along with Lisa and her husband.
Abby Abby was 3-months-old when Tamara H. became her foster parent through Charleston Animal Society (CAS) last October. Tamara was told that Abby came from a cruelty case, but that the specifics couldn’t be disclosed. She knew it was likely a dog fighting case. Although Tamara already had two dogs—a Chow-Shepherd mix and a hound—and hadn’t planned on adopting another, she knew soon after bringing Abby home that she wouldn’t be able to give her back. When CAS contacted Tamara to ask if she would like to keep Abby or bring her back to CAS to be made available for adoption, Tamara came in immediately to sign the adoption papers and make her forever home official.
* We want to extend a special thanks to the many volunteers and organizations (listed below) that have partnered with us over the past year, especially those agencies that have adopted out more than 10 dogs from the case: Thank you, Humane Society of Calvert County, Charleston Animal Society, Humane Society of Pinellas, Plenty of Pitbulls and Atlanta Humane Society!
Big news! The ASPCA has teamed up with singer, songwriter, and animal-lover Colbie Caillat to launch Come To Their Rescue, a nationwide movement to help abused and abandoned animals.
Animal welfare is an issue that is close to Colbie’s heart: her own dog, Plum, was found tied up and starving on the streets before she was brought to a shelter. Sadly, not all dogs are as lucky as Plum. Every year, more than 7 million animals enter shelters nationwide, and almost 3 million don’t make it out. It’s a staggering number, and it is a sobering reminder that our nation’s pet homelessness problem is very real and very tragic. That’s why we are so happy to have Colbie Caillat on our side.
Helping homeless animals find forever homes is one of the ASPCA’s top priorities, and we are making a difference. Every year, we are able to help tens of thousands of animals find loving homes, and with Colbie’s support—and the support of people like you—we believe that we can accomplish so much more.
If you would like to get involved, visit aspca.org/rescue. You can learn more, make a donation, sign a pledge, and help spread the world about this exciting collaboration. Nothing compares to the feeling of knowing you have given an animal a second chance, so please: come to their rescue today.
The plush toys come in a variety of sizes and options, including a mini plush, an adoptable dog plush with a collar, charm, pet toys and adoption certificate, and a “rescue pet vet set” dog and cat plush complete with a stethoscope, neck cone, syringe and bandage to help nurse your animal back to health! The packaging also includes pet care tips for both plush and real life cats and dogs.
Sales of the plush toys help animals in need with 3-5% of each sale, with a minimum guarantee of $25,000 through December 31, 2015, going toward the ASPCA’s work to protect animals from harm.
A sign on the door of the house reportedly read “Premises is perilous to life,” and it was not a joke or an exaggeration. When the ASPCA and the NYPD entered the Queens home on Thursday, July 31, what we found was horrific—and heartbreaking.
Multiple dogs, many of whom were emaciated, scarred, and wearing heavy chains, were found without access to food or water. A bloody treadmill—a tool used to train dogs for fighting—weighted harnesses, steroids, syringes and other dog fighting paraphernalia were found in the home. At least one dog had deep scratch marks raked across its face.
Uniformed NYPD patrol officers from the 113th Precinct responded immediately to a complaint of dog fighting, called the ASPCA helpline, and less than 24 hours later both the NYPD and ASPCA—with the assistance of NYPD’s newly appointed Animal Cruelty Investigation Squad—were able to mobilize resources. Siblings Addison Holder, 44, and Keisha Hall, 33, are currently facing charges of animal fighting, unauthorized practice of veterinary medicine and felony drug possession, and are each being held on $100,000 bail. A third defendant was arrested on Wednesday, August 6.
The ASPCA has taken custody of the 20 canine victims found in the home. They are now receiving food, water, enrichment and love—many for the first time in their lives.
“Organized dog fighting is a brutal form of animal abuse where dogs are exploited and forced to fight as their owners profit from their torture,” says Matthew Bershadker, President and CEO of the ASPCA. “Through our partnership, the ASPCA and the NYPD are determined to protect New York City’s animals from this form of cruelty and bring their abusers to justice.”