And on June 29, a 3-year-old English Setter died in Wausau, Michigan, after being left in a car with windows rolled up for more than two hours. According to local police, the temperature of the window glass was 121 degrees, even though the day’s high temperature was 79 degrees.
These stories add to the thousands each year of animals suffering and succumbing to heatstroke in unattended vehicles. The circumstances behind each case may be different, but the avoidable causes are the same, and all point to a single conclusion:
Never leave an animal alone in a car.
Mild weather can seem deceptively safe, but it is not. In less than 30 minutes, the temperature inside a car can rise more than 30 degrees higher than the temperature outside. This is true even if car windows are cracked open or the car is parked in the shade. Dogs can’t cool themselves down as easily as we can, and once they overheat, they can suffer serious organ damage and die.
In Tennessee last week, a new law took effect that will expand a Good Samaritan law to allow people to lawfully break into hot cars to rescue animals in danger. The law previously only applied to saving children. The ASPCA spearheaded a similar law in Washington State empowering law enforcement to rescue animals trapped in hot cars. That law will go into effect later this month.
Even though most states don’t have laws specifically addressing pets in hot cars, know that leaving a pet in a hot car can potentially be a violation of anti-cruelty codes in any state.
If you see an animal alone in a hot car, please:
Immediately call animal control or 911.
Notify the mangers of nearby businesses so they can make urgent announcements to their customers.
Stay with the pet until help has arrived.
To help prevent this kind of cruelty—and make no mistake, leaving an animal in an unattended car on a hot day is indeed cruelty—share this flyer with friends and family. Keep some in your car, so you can offer it to anyone you see traveling with a pet. And talk to your veterinarian about displaying it in the waiting room.
When Sarah first came to the ASPCA, she was the epitome of a “scaredy cat,” with the exception of one small detail: She’s a 30-lb. pit bull! Rescued from a life on the streets, Sarah was timid and fearful of nearly everything, until the perfect adopter came along and proved that love heals all wounds, even those we cannot see. Here is Sarah’s Happy Tail.
Sarah was found abandoned and wandering the streets of Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, in July 2014. Amid the sweltering summer heat, she was taken to the ASPCA Animal Hospital where she spent eight days under our care, which included a deworming treatment, spay surgery and all of her vaccines. To all appearances she looked like a strong, healthy dog, but Sarah was afraid of nearly everything. When out for a walk, she would get nervous and pull hard on the leash. She was unsure of other dogs and suspicious of new surroundings, and staff at the ASPCA noted that when scared, she would “stick to you like Velcro.” The sweet dog was clearly looking for guidance and love.
In October, Madeline H. came to the ASPCA Adoption Center in search of a new pet after her previous dog, Luna, passed away. “I was lonely and feeling very sad,” she recalls, “and there are plenty of dogs that need a good home.” At the ASPCA, Madeline met a number of adoptable pups before connecting instantly with Sarah. “She was there lying with one of her toys. She looked at me and got up and I said ‘Hi,’” she recalls. “Those eyes got me!”
Madeline adopted Sarah that day and never looked back. “People say, ‘How did you know she was your dog?’ and I say, ‘How did she know I was her mommy?’” Madeline beams. Back at her apartment, Sarah proved what we had suspected all along: With one-on-one attention and a home to call her own, the precious pittie soon came out of her anxious, timid shell. “Sarah is doing fantastic. She is a great dog, smart and very loving,” Madeline says. “All she needed was love.”
On Tuesday, July 21, the ASPCA will be celebrating national No Pet Store Puppies Day, and we're asking for your help! This is a great chance to educate your friends and family about what happens in puppy mills and remind them not to buy puppies, or any pet supplies, from pet stores that sell puppies—and adopt from a shelter or rescue group instead!
Puppy mill cruelty is a national problem. Tens of thousands of breeding dogs spend their lives in puppy mills, large-scale commercial breeding operations where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs. Dogs in these facilities are typically housed in tiny, overcrowded cages in unsanitary conditions, without proper veterinary care of adequate access to food and water—and many live out their entire lives without ever experiencing human affection. Female breeding dogs are bred at every opportunity with little to no time between litters for their bodies to recover, in order to produce as many puppies as possible and generate more profit for the mills.
What’s more, their offspring may suffer from behavior, congenital and hereditary problems as a result of irresponsible breeding practices. Puppies are typically sold to pet shops as young as eight weeks of age. Since most pet store puppies come from puppy mills, this cruelty is perpetuated every time a puppy is purchased from a pet store.
The ASPCA estimates that there are between 6,000 and 10,000 commercial breeding facilities in the United States—and we refuse to rest until every single mill dog is safe.
If you’re ready to stand with us against puppy mills, here are a few ways you can raise awareness and help puppy mill dogs right now.
Check out our revamped No Pet Store Puppies website. Visit NoPetStorePuppies.com to find out if your state regulates commercial breeders and how you can help end the cruelty. Sign the pledge that you won’t buy anything from pet stores that sell puppies—and tell everyone you know not to shop at those stores, either!
Spread the word. Watch the video below to meet Molly and her faithful pup, Joey, and learn why you shouldn’t shop at pet stores that sell puppies. Then share it with your friends and family on all your social media channels.
Make a donation today. We believe that no dog should suffer for profit, and we are making progress toward ending the abuse, but we can’t do it alone. You can help the ASPCA continue our fight against puppy mills, and all animal suffering, bymaking a donation today.
Puppy mill dogs are counting on us. Thank you for your support on Tuesday and every day!
Turk the cat arrived at the ASPCA in early April after being rescued by a Good Samaritan. Scarred on his face and legs from life on the streets, he was also suffering from an ear infection and ringworm. At the ASPCA Animal Hospital, the five-year-old, black-and-white cat spent more than two months undergoing treatment. He also had three teeth extracted.
Then, on June 23—78 days after he arrived at the ASPCA—Turk was made available for adoption. And within the hour, he was on his way home with Julie B. and her boyfriend, Jason, of Hamilton Heights in Manhattan.
“We were finishing up our visit, not sure if we were going to leave with a pet, when we overheard the staff and volunteers talking about a cat who had just become available for adoption and was ‘an absolute love,’” remembers Julie. Jason asked to meet the former street-fighting feline, and the moment they opened his cage, Turk begged for attention and flopped onto his back.
“We found the combination of his big, jowly, mob-boss tough looks and unbelievably affectionate personality irresistible, so we took him home on the spot,” Julie says.
Although she never had pets before Turk, Julie admits, “I've become that lady who's obsessed with her cat. He is the friendliest, most affectionate cat I've ever encountered. When people visit, he immediately wants to be their best friend and coerces them into giving him belly rubs. He still has the scars from his street-fighting days, but we can't imagine our little love bug being aggressive at all. He's a dream companion.”
Animal care technician Laurie Daniels, who helped care for Turk at the ASPCA, recalls how he was “insatiable” and loved to be touched. “He seemed to have no limits—no moments when he wanted to be alone,” Laurie says. “And what a heart he has! He is the quintessential diamond in the rough; an absolute treasure down on his luck who only needed a bit of compassion to get back on his feet.”
Julie, a singer and actress, and Jason, a jazz pianist, renamed their new feline friend Thelonious Monk after the pianist and composer. They call him Monkey for short.
“We wanted Monkey to feel like he fits in here, and it seems like he does,” Julie says. “In fact, he's already composed a few avant-garde, free-jazz style tunes walking across the piano keys toward his window perch. And he likes to sing along with me in his Louis Armstrong growl when I practice, though admittedly he may be telling me to shut up!”
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:
Dog Flu Outbreak Causes Concern: New cases of canine influenza have spread across several states and veterinarians are urging vigilance. Learn more about the outbreak including causes, symptoms, and preventative actions. [CNN.com]
Experts Divided on Cat Classification: Although cats have lived with humans for nearly 10,000 years and are the world’s most popular pet, many experts disagree about whether they’re actually domestic animals. A recent scientific paper examines just how “wild” our feline friends are. [Slate.com]
Pet Food Recall: Pet food maker Stella & Chewy’s® is recalling some of its products because a routine test found Listeria in a sample of its chicken freeze-dried dinner patties for dogs. The bacteria can be life-threatening to humans and to pets. [NBCNews.com]
Blame It On the Bulldog: When a pet parent came home to a mess, she asked her two dogs which one was responsible. In a hilarious video, her Bullmastiff points his paw (and his blame) at his French Bulldog brother! The video has gone viral and received over 1.7 million views. [HuffingtonPost.com]