You may have heard a lot of talk about Idaho recently, and it’s no small potatoes. Idaho’s governor, C.L. “Butch” Otter, recently signed into law a controversial anti-whistleblower “ag-gag” bill that punishes those who expose abusive conditions on factory farms. Though Governor Otter claims this law will keep agriculture producers “secure in their property,” we, and countless others concerned about the welfare of animals, are extremely concerned about the greater implications of ag-gag.
In passing this bill, Idaho became the seventh state to enact an ag-gag law. By effectively closing out journalists, investigators, and even the general public from animal production facilities, the agribusiness industry can continue to keep consumers in the dark about where their food is coming from.
We have seen countless instances of abuse on industrial farms, including the recent case of a Wisconsin dairy farm that produces cheese for the frozen pizza brand DiGiorno. Undercover footage taken by Mercy For Animals caught workers at this farm viciously kicking, stabbing, beating, and dragging cows, and the footage led to 11 charges of criminal animal cruelty. Without such footage, we may never have known of these horrors, and because of ag-gag laws, we may never learn of countless other, similar instances.
We’re joining forces to help special cats around the country with the creation of Lil BUB’s BIG Fund for the ASPCA. All donations collected through this fund will be distributed as grants to assist cats that need special care or need a little extra help getting adopted due to conditions such as blindness, deafness, physical disabilities, birth defects, chronic illnesses, or old age.
“Lil BUB has come to represent the unique bond and love between people and animals,” says ASPCA President & CEO Matt Bershadker. “The sad truth is that there are millions of cats at risk and who need our help. We’re proud to partner with Lil BUB to raise awareness and funds for these special cats.”
In addition to direct donations, 8-10 percent of the purchase price of items from the BUB STORE will go directly towards the fund to animal welfare groups that provide a variety of services for special needs cats, including medical care, rehabilitation, hospice care, relocation programs, adoption events and safety net programs to keep cats and families together.
We’re so excited to be able to help special cats even more, thanks to Lil BUB’s help. GOOD JOB, BUB!
Does it seem like there are too many animals and not enough homes for them all? Well, you’re right! And the biggest cause of pet overpopulation is failing to spay and neuter your pets. You’d think people would have gotten the message by now—spaying and neutering saves lives! But there are still tons of unwanted litters. What gives?
February is National Spay/Neuter Month, and we could use your help to spread the word. Please share one of our spay/neuter memes on your social networks—like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. They're funny, informative and a really easy way to remind people about the importance of spaying and neutering pets. Visit our collection of shareable memes today, and let us know which one is your favorite.
We ♥ Valentine’s Day for many reasons (yes, flowers and candy included), but mainly because it gives us a chance to reflect on those we love most: OUR DONORS! And it’s more than just puppy love, because donations are at the very heart of what we do.
Without donations, we can’t continue our life-saving work on behalf of abused and abandoned animals everywhere. So if you’re looking for love this Valentine’s Day, look no further. Donate now and start a relationship with the ASPCA today!
Recently, we told you the story of Callie. Abandoned in a frozen van, Callie was left for dead until the ASPCA and NYPD rescued her. While we were thrilled to report that Callie’s story had a happy ending (she was adopted by the same police officer who found her), it got us thinking about animal abandonment. Though not discussed as often as other, more overt forms of animal cruelty, abandonment is a serious issue. To help understand what abandonment is, how it’s dealt with, and what you can do to help, we’ve answered some of the most Frequently Asked Questions.
What Is Animal Abandonment?
Abandonment laws differ by state, but generally speaking, abandonment happens when an owner or temporary caretaker of an animal leaves that animal in a public or private place (inside or outside) without intending to return for it and without making provision for its continued care.
How Many Animals Are Abandoned Each Year?
Because there is no national reporting requirement for animal abuse, there is no way to track the number of abandoned animals each year. However, we do know 6-8 million companion animals enter shelters nationwide every year. This number includes animals abandoned on the street (found animals) and animals seized after private abandonment in homes or apartments.
Is Animal Abandonment A Crime?
Most states have laws making abandonment of an animal unlawful. It is sometimes a component of cruelty laws, though some states like New York treat it as a separate offense. In New York, it is a Class A misdemeanor.
What Are the Consequences for Animal Abandonment?
Consequences vary nationwide. In New York, it is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1000. Visit our complete list of animal abandonment laws by state. If an abandoned animal is found to be sick, injured or dead, cruelty charges may also be appropriate. In these circumstances, forensic veterinary work may be helpful.
How Are Abandonment Laws Enforced?
Due to the nature of the crime, it is often difficult to identify and locate the owner or caretaker who has abandoned the animal. ID tags and microchips can sometimes help identify the responsibility party. Unfortunately, there are many instances where owners cannot readily be found and charged for abandonment.
What Can I Do To Help?
If you suspect animal abandonment, contact the police or appropriate law enforcement agency in your area. Visit our Fight Cruelty Page for a list of contacts in each state.