Today is Earth Day! We all love our furry friends, but many pet parents don’t realize just how much of an impact animal companions can have on our planet. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can go green with the four-legged friend in your life. Here are some simple and fun ways you and your pet can cut down on waste and do your part for Mother Earth this year:
Reuse, Recycle and Donate. Before you throw away the old towels, bedding, litter boxes and leashes you’ve accumulated over the year, call your local shelter. They often have a need for these household items, and your pet’s gently-used products can go a long way in making a shelter animal very happy!
Clean Green. Put away the bleach and protect your pets from toxic chemicals often found in household cleaning supplies by reaching for vinegar, baking soda or lemon to clean pet messes. These eco-friendly alternatives remove odors and kill mold and bacteria. Not sure what products in your house are hazardous? Check out our list of pet toxins that may be in your home.
Go Natural. Consider opting for biodegradable doggie bags over the plastic kind, choosing kitty litter made out of plant-based materials like wheat or wood chips, and looking for pet products made from recycled plastics and natural materials.
Thanks in large part to our groundbreaking new partnership with the New York City Police Department (NYPD), the ASPCA is caring for more canine cruelty victims than ever before. To accommodate the resulting 200%+ increase in intake, we opened our Canine Annex for Recovery & Enrichment, or CARE ward, last summer in New York City. This new facility can house up to 60 dogs seized by the NYPD as part of animal cruelty investigations, and its impact thus far has been significant. To commemorate CARE’s upcoming anniversary, we wanted to share one of its very first success stories. Here is the Happy Tail of a five-year-old Boston Terrier named Chowda.
In June 2014, Chowda was seized by the NYPD from an apartment building in the Bronx, New York. Emaciated and suffering from skin disease, she weighed just 13 lbs. upon her arrival at the ASPCA. Bite wounds covered her body. Tests revealed abnormally low levels of protein in her blood, further proof that she had been deprived of proper nutrition.
Chowda weighed just 13 lbs. on the day of her intake.
Chowda spent four months recuperating in the ASPCA Animal Hospital and at the CARE annex. She was spayed and underwent a dental procedure, during which four teeth were extracted. By early September, she had gained 10 lbs.—a nearly 41% increase in body weight.
After six weeks under our care, Chowda returned to a healthy body weight.
On the day before Halloween, Chowda was adopted by Diana A. and her husband Chris of Brooklyn, New York. Chowda joined Diana and Chris’s other dog, Meisha, a two-year-old pit bull who had also been adopted from the ASPCA. Chowda and Meisha became friends immediately. “People ask us if we’ve had them together from birth,” says Diana. “We call them sisters; they are an awesome duo.”
Chowda and her new sister, Meisha.
After adopting Meisha, who came from a hoarding case, Diana and Chris decided to add a second, more confident and energetic dog to their household, and Chowda fit the bill perfectly.
According to Diana, Chowda loves to cuddle, sit on people’s laps, and “kiss everyone to death.” She and Meisha are inseparable.
Despite what Chowda’s been through, “she is resilient, forgiving, and loving,” says Diana.
On occasion, Diana takes Chowda to her office, where the perky-eared pooch has already “stolen everyone's hearts.”
“She is such an amazing soul, I can't imagine how anyone could harm her,” says Diana. “Thanks to everyone at the ASPCA who helps improve the lives of these wonderful beings.”
Exciting news: After weeks of providing medical care and behavioral enrichment to dogs rescued from an Alabama puppy mill, the ASPCA has begun transporting the dogs to various animal welfare agencies in 11 states, where they will be made ready for adoption.
More than 130 dogs were seized from the puppy mill, including Chihuahuas, Chows and Pomeranians ranging in age from 2 months to 5 years. The dogs were living in filthy, deplorable conditions, with many suffering from malnourishment and other medical issues.
The dogs will be transported to the following animal shelters and rescue groups via the ASPCA Animal Relocation and Transport Initiative's Nancy Silverman Rescue Ride and Florida Disaster Animal Response and Transport (FL DART):
Angels of Assisi (Roanoke, Virginia)
Capital Area Humane Society (Hilliard, Ohio)
Cedar Bend Humane Society (Waterloo, Iowa)
Charleston Animal Society (North Charleston, South Carolina)
Citizens for Humane Action (Columbus, Ohio)
Humane Society of Broward County (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
Humane Society of Calvert County (Sunderland, Maryland)
Humane Society of Great Birmingham (Birmingham, Alabama)
Humane Society of Greater Savannah (Savannah, Georgia)
Humane Society of Pinellas (Clearwater, Florida)
McKamey Animal Care Center (Chattanooga, Tennessee)
Four of the dogs are in need of behavioral rehabilitation for extreme fear and under-socialization, and will receive treatment at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in Madison, New Jersey.
The puppy mill seizure was the result of an investigation that began after local authorities received numerous complaints about conditions at the breeding facility. Both owners of the facility were charged with animal cruelty.
Looking to adopt but don't live in one of these states? Visit aspca.org/adopt to find dogs near you in need of a home!
On any given day, the ASPCA Adoption Center and the ASPCA Animal Hospital are home to hundreds of animals. Caring for so many dogs and cats takes a lot of work, and none of it would be possible without our incredible, dedicated staff of volunteers. In honor of National Volunteer Week, we want to recognize one of those volunteers, Adoption Counselor Stephen Q., by sharing the story of “his best adoption ever.” Here’s what Stephen had to say:
On what started as a typical day volunteering as an ASPCA Adoption Counselor, I met a couple who came in looking to adopt a pair of adult cats. Delighted, I took them through the shelter showing them each of several bonded adult pairs, and while they enjoyed meeting each pair, none were quite right. As luck would have it, I must have saved the best for last. I said to them, “Well, we have one more bonded pair I can show you, please come with me.”
As I opened the kennel door to show them this beautiful pair of cats, I explained that both were completely blind.
The couple started petting these two loving and affectionate cats (one with non-seeing eyes, the other without eyes at all) while I started talking to them about my own experience with my blind-from-birth cat, Jenny. I talked about how perfectly Jenny gets around, how she opened my heart to a new type of human-cat experience, that no challenge is insurmountable and that perfection comes in many forms. After 20 minutes of petting, listening and asking questions, the couple turned to me with moist eyes and said, “We’ll take them.”
It was my best adoption ever, and all the credit goes to a couple with an open heart—and to my little blind cat with the biggest heart ever, also rescued by the ASPCA.
Thank you to Stephen, and to all of our volunteers, for your hard work, dedication, and inspiring stories!
Welcome to The Paw Print! In this recurring feature, we highlight the latest news affecting animals and animal-lovers around the country. Here are some of the top stories right now:
Rescue Pup Set to Receive 3D Printed Prosthetic Paw: Rylee, a 2-year-old Great Pyrenees, lost one of her front paws after being caught in a trap. Rylee is under the care of Dirk's Fund Golden Retriever Rescue in Pacific, Missouri, where volunteers are raising funds in hopes of securing a 3D printed prosthetic paw for the injured pup. Once Rylee’s paw has been replaced, she’ll be made available for adoption. [KSDK]
Some Cats and Dogs May Be Allergic to Humans: According to veterinarians, dogs and cats may suffer from some of the same types of allergies that humans experience—and may even be allergic to their human companions. While it’s rare, dogs and cats can be allergic to dog, cat or human dander. These allergies present themselves as skin inflammation and itching for dogs, and little scabs or missing hair, typically around the head and neck area, for cats. Like humans, pets can be tested and treated for many types of allergies. [National Geographic]
Missing Dog Reunited with Family Following Deadly Illinois Tornado: Missy, a white German Shepherd, was reunited with her family after a deadly tornado struck Fairdale, Illinois. Sadly, Misty’s guardian, Geraldine "Geri" Schultz, died in the storm, but her remaining family members launched a search for the missing pup in the area and on Facebook. Misty was first spotted by a utility worker, and was soon reunited with Shultz’s husband and grandson. [CBS News]
Inmates Care for Rescued Cats at Indiana Correctional Facility: As part of a new program called Felines and Offenders Rehabilitation with Affection, Reformation and Dedication (FORWARD), twelve shelter cats have been relocated to the refurbished office of Pendleton Correctional Facility in Pendleton, Indiana. There, the cats socialize with people and other cats and play with toys crafted by inmates. The inmates take turns caring for the cats, which are available for adoption by prison staff or the families of inmates. [Huffington Post]
German Shepherds Trained to Detect Prostate Cancer in Humans: An Italy-based research team has published a report noting that two German Shepherds have been trained to detect the scent of chemicals linked to prostate cancer in human urine samples with more than 90% accuracy. The report, published in The Journal of Urology, is the latest of multiple studies examining the prospect of utilizing dogs to help diagnose cancer and other infectious diseases. [The Guardian]