In conjunction with Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, Ralph Lauren has collaborated with the ASPCA to create The Dog Walk, a short film featuring rescue dogs from the ASPCA and the designer's Fall 2013 accessories collection. The film takes you on a virtual dog walk through the streets of New York City and Paris, with a few fun surprises along the way.
From October 15 to November 15, 10 percent of the purchase price of select accessories and dog apparel* featured in the film will be donated to the ASPCA to support and raise awareness for shelter dog adoptions. We're pleased to announce that all of the shelter dogs who starred in the film have since found forever homes and are thriving with their new families!
To say Dale H. has a soft spot for dogs would be an understatement. In his life, he has rescued and found homes for more than 100 dogs in need. One such pup, a five-year-old special needs dog named Daisy May, is one of Dale’s three resident dogs.
As a puppy, Daisy was a victim of unthinkable cruelty. She was kicked, beaten and left for dead. Knox County Animal Control stepped in, and Daisy was transported to the Young-Williams Animal Center, a 2012 $100K Challenge participant, in Knoxville, Tennessee.
“The veterinarians and staff fell in love with her, as they cared for her during her recuperation,” Dale says. “They loved her so much, and they kept her until she found a home. Daisy May would not have had a chance without their compassion.”
Today, Daisy still lives with the lasting effects of animal cruelty. Due to extensive shoulder injuries, Daisy can only hop on her front legs. Because of the head trauma she suffered, her eyes "flicker" and cannot focus.
“Although she has suffered a great deal in her life, Daisy May is the happiest, most sociable and friendly dog I have seen in some time,” Dale says. “For her treats, she spins and spins, then hops in front of me. I have had Daisy for a year and a half now, and she is my closest friend.”
On October 5, The New York Times published an opinion piece by Gregory Berns, a professor of neuroeconomics at Emory University, about his two-year study of brain activity in conscious pet canines. (Rest assured, no dogs were harmed: “We used only positive training methods. No sedation. No restraints. If the dogs didn’t want to be in the M.R.I. scanner, they could leave.”)
For Berns, who found that positive anticipation (of food or familiar people, etc.) stems from the same part of the brain in both humans and dogs, the study’s takeaway is “Dogs are people, too.” This leads him to question the righteousness of dogs’ current legal status: “[We] can no longer hide from the evidence. Dogs, and probably many other animals (especially our closest primate relatives), seem to have emotions just like us. And this means we must reconsider their treatment as property.”
This week the website huffingtonpost.com posted a great follow-up article that expands on the concept of “personhood” for animals and quotes the ASPCA’s own Stacy Wolf, Senior Vice President, Anti-Cruelty Group—read it here.
What Do You Think? We want to hear your take on this debate. Should dogs be given the same legal protections as people, or is it right to continue to categorize them as “property”? In what ways have your own dogs shown you that they have emotions? Have your say in our comments section, below.
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Yeah buddy! By now you all know that our friend DJ Pauly D has a BIG soft spot for animals—especially shelter pets. In this special video message, he reminds us just how important it is to always make pet adoption your first option.
Pauly D has already done so much to help shelter pets, and now it’s your turn. Please share this video on your social media channels and help us spread the word about this important cause.
Here’s one more example of how human health and animal welfare are inseparable: On October 7, the USDA announced that 278 people across 18 states have contracted salmonella from eating chicken from a certain West Coast poultry processor. Reports indicate that about 42% of the people infected have been hospitalized—about double the normal rate of hospitalization for Salmonella infections—because this strain of salmonella is resistant to several commonly prescribed antibiotics.
In a recent U.S. News & World Report story, Dr. Marc Siegel, an associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, explained how this life-threatening outbreak is linked to the common industry practice of feeding chickens low doses of antibiotics to compensate for the sickening conditions on factory farms:
"It's not an accident that this particular strain is resistant," he said. "I suspect it's resistant because of the overuse of antibiotics among farm animals."
Chicken live in squalor, Siegel said: "Ninety-five percent of chickens are grown in such horrific conditions that they're standing in poop and they end up infected with salmonella. If one chicken gets it, they all get it."
On top of poor living conditions on farms, most modern chickens are bred to grow so fat, so fast, that many collapse under their own weight and spend much of their lives lying in their own waste, with open sores and wounds.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Chickens deserve better, and so do we. The ASPCA is urging the chicken industry to switch to slower-growing breeds raised in better conditions. Learn more and take action at TruthAboutChicken.org.