In the days after the ASPCA rescued Tyra from a Kentucky puppy mill, she was afraid of everything. When our behavior team touched the tiny Papillon during an evaluation, she shut down, paralyzed with fear. One glimpse of a child-size doll sent her reeling in terror. She was even too scared to eat.
Our behavior team knew it wouldn’t be easy, but they were determined to help Tyra. Our experts devised a program to treat her fear, hoping against hope that she would come out of her shell and learn to trust.
After a few months of treatment, the behavior team evaluated Tyra again. The results were thrilling, and we caught it on tape:
Tyra “seemed like a different dog,” remembers Kristen Collins, ASPCA Director of Anti-Cruelty Behavior Rehabilitation. “She approached us tail wagging, clearly eager to interact. She seemed to enjoy petting, played with a toy and investigated the doll. In short, she had transformed into a dog that was ready to enjoy her new life in a loving adoptive home.”
Seeing Tyra’s improvement, Collins and her colleagues were inspired; they knew their rehabilitation methods were effective, and that the time was right to launch the rehabilitation center they’d wanted to create for years.
Last month we opened the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in New Jersey. At this first-of-its-kind facility, we’re treating dogs like Tyra who are rescued from puppy mills and other cruelty situations, giving them the time and intensive support they need but can’t get anywhere else.
After her rehabilitation, Tyra was transferred to D.C.’s Washington Animal Rescue League for adoption. Though still a bit fearful, Tyra was ready to enjoy life as a family dog—and that’s exactly what she’s doing right now. Today she lives in Maryland and is cherished every day.
“Tyra is a wonderful dog!” her mom tells us. “I am so happy that ASPCA gave her another chance at life and to be happy.”
At just 10 years old, Ayden P. of Las Vegas, Nevada, has already made a huge impact for animals. For his birthday this year, Ayden decided to use his birthday party as a fundraiser for the ASPCA, and asked that his friends and family members donate to our organization in lieu of gifts. This special young philanthropist raised $600 for animals during his birthday fundraiser!
We couldn’t be more honored that Ayden chose to support our life-saving mission for animals in need. This was Ayden’s fourth birthday party fundraiser: Since 2010, he has raised funds for the Red Cross, the Shade Tree, a local shelter for women and children, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Ayden also shows his commitment to animals by visiting a local pet rescue shelter, Little Friends, with his Aunt Pauline. He has previously volunteered with PetSmart’s PAWS program, an adoption program for cats. Ayden also has a plump yellow Lab named Fudge.
Happy first day of spring! This time of year brings on the urge to purge, and we all have items that we no longer need but are too good to be trashed. Every animal deserves a good home—and so does your gently used stuff!
At WebThriftStore, others can bid on and purchase your treasures to benefit the ASPCA. You set the price and get a tax write-off for 100% of your item’s value; the ASPCA gets 80% of the sale’s proceeds; and some lucky buyer gets a great bargain. It’s a win-win-win!
So get selling, and maybe do a little spring shopping while you’re at it: WebThriftStore has a special offer through Sunday for all spring shoppers!
As we approach the six-year anniversary of Michael Vick’s arrest, we’re reminded of just how much work we still have to do to stamp out dog fighting forever. For the dogs still trapped in fighting rings, our work to end blood sports has never been so urgent.
Here are just some of the realities of life as a dog-fighting victim:
• Tethered to short, heavy chains or locked away in tiny cages, the dogs often receive inadequate care and little socialization. • They can go for days without food or clean water. • When dog-fighting dogs are old enough to fight, many die of blood loss, shock and exhaustion. • Losing dogs are sometimes killed right on the spot for their failure to secure a win for their owners. • Even when they’re lucky enough to be rescued, dog-fighting victims face a difficult path to physical and emotional recovery. Despite the best efforts of expert rehabilitators, not all dogs rescued from fighting will heal.