Advocates from across California met at the State Capitol in Sacramento on Tuesday to rally for stronger animal-welfare laws at the ASPCA’s second annual Paws for Celebration event—and got to meet some very cute, adoptable pets while they were at it!
Paws for Celebration brings the great work that shelters and rescues do for their communities to the lawn of the Capitol and shows policymakers how critical sheltering services are in California. The event featured an adoption fair with cats and dogs from nearly 20 local California shelters and rescue organizations. Palomacy Dove Rescue was also on-site with rescued birds, and even a rabbit named Donkey made an appearance.
When event-goers weren’t busy cuddling adoptable pets, they got down to serious legislative business at meetings with Legislators and their staff to urge the passage of strong animal-protection legislation, including Assembly Bills 316 and 317. If passed, these two important ASPCA-sponsored bills would enhance California law enforcement’s ability to investigate animal cruelty cases and increase emergency responders’ capacity to care for animals during natural disasters.
Attendees were even treated to a visit by ASPCA Celebrity Ambassador Katherine Schwarzenegger to show her support for the work local shelters do and to advocate for the passage of A.B. 316 and A.B. 317.
“As a lifelong Californian and parent to my own rescue dog, I am so grateful to the shelters and rescues that care for thousands of homeless animals across our state every day,” Schwarzenegger said. “We owe it to these organizations to ensure they have all the resources they need to continue providing these much-needed services.”
With nearly 100 attendees, Paws for Celebration quadrupled in size since last year’s event, sending a strong message to legislators that animal welfare is becoming increasingly important to Californians—and lawmakers agreed that stronger legislation is necessary.
“The ASPCA provides critical services to these animals in California and across the nation,” said Assembly Member Brian Maienschein of Poway, who was present at the event. “I am proud to be the sponsor of two bills this session which will ensure that the ASPCA and other organizations can aid California’s pets in the event of a large-scale cruelty case or disaster situation.”
Also in attendance were Assembly Members Matt Dababneh, Marc Steinorth, William Brough, David Hadley, Patrick O'Donnell and Matthew Harper, all of whom are working on important animal welfare legislation this session that ranges from helping dogs and cats used in tax-payer funded research to strengthening penalties for acts of cruelty towards animals in sanctuaries and shelters to providing tax incentives for animal adoptions.
We want to thank the advocates who were able to join us for this exciting event and all of our supporters in California and across the nation for continuing to stand by our side as we fight to protect animals.
Don’t miss your state’s next lobby day or adoption event! Sign up to receive ASPCA Advocacy Alerts to stay up-to-date on fun and informative events near you.
Update—May 29, 2015: Great news! Governor McCrory vetoed H.B. 405, the dangerous ag-gag bill that would have silenced whistleblowers and kept North Carolina residents in the dark about horrific animal abuse on industrial farms. If you live in North Carolina, please visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center now to thank the Governor for opposing this bill and to urge your state legislators to let the veto stand.
If a pending ag-gag bill becomes law in North Carolina, a newly released investigation may be the last look the public will get behind the closed doors of industrial agriculture in the state. Undercover video exposing abuse inside a North Carolina chicken slaughterhouse comes just as state lawmakers passed a dangerous ag-gag bill (H.B. 405) designed to prevent exactly this kind of disclosure.
The footage, as reported by ABC 11 Raleigh, was captured by an investigator for animal welfare group Compassion Over Killing in March and April 2015. It reveals birds being violently tossed across the facility, workers slamming birds upside down into moving shackles, and sick or injured birds tossed into piles of dead birds like trash. H.B. 405 aims to prevent the documentation and exposure of animal abuse and any other wrong-doing inside factory farms and slaughterhouses, including food safety-related violations and environmental or workers’ rights issues.
Rather than stopping these abuses, some North Carolina lawmakers and corporations would rather just keep the public in the dark.
Whether or not you live in North Carolina, you can help! Please take these actions today to help ensure this bill does not become law. Animals should never suffer in secrecy.
If you live in North Carolina:
Call Governor McCrory at (919) 814-2000 and leave a message with the receptionist stating that you are a North Carolina resident and are asking Governor McCrory to veto H.B. 405, the ag-gag bill. If you are calling after normal business hours, please call (919) 814-2050 and press 2 to leave a voicemail.
Email Governor McCrory using this online form urging him to veto H.B. 405. Please only email the Governor if you are a North Carolina resident.
Share this post and the card below with your friends and social media networks, asking everyone to take action today!
Don't live in North Carolina? Your voice can still make a difference! Because your dollars support North Carolina businesses, you can still help by letting Governor McCrory know that you’ll lose trust in North Carolina businesses if ag-gag becomes law.
More than 600 animals received free vaccines at ASPCA clinic events in South Los Angeles.
More than 1,800 dogs and cats avoided entering Los Angeles County shelters thanks to the ASPCA Safety Net program, which provides services to help keep pets in their homes and out of shelters.
More than 1,500 animals were transported from overcrowded shelters to communities where they have a better chance of being adopted.
More than $1.4 million in grants was distributed to local animal welfare organizations and partners for initiatives such as intervention programs, spay/neuter programs and medical care for animals in low-income areas.
We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished thus far. As the calendar rolls over to year two of this multi-year commitment, we’ll continue our journey to reduce the number of dogs and cats at risk in the Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Area.
Want a first-hand look at our work in L.A.? Watch our video below to see our Safety Net program in action.
The ASPCA is on the ground in Freeport, Florida assisting authorities with evidence collection and the rescue of seven canine victims from a property where animals were allegedly housed and fought.
ASPCA responders discovered the dogs tethered to heavy chains at the scene, and many exhibited scars and wounds consistent with fighting. Drugs and dog fighting paraphernalia were also discovered on the property. We are providing the dogs with emergency medical treatment and behavioral enrichment, and they are being kept safe at an undisclosed location.
Animals rescued from abuse have many different means of coping. Some are able to forget their pain almost instantly, while others must travel a longer road to recovery. For Bailey the pit bull, every tail wag, kiss and nuzzle is a major milestone that serves as a reminder of all that she has overcome. Fortunately, a loving adopter has been by her side almost every step of the way. Here is Bailey’s Happy Tail.
Bailey came to the ASPCA in May 2014, almost one year ago to the day. She and seven other dogs were rescued from an abusive situation that involved hoarding, street fighting and confinement in a squalid basement. Shaking from fear and terrified of strangers, Bailey was clearly traumatized. She spent the next three months at the ASPCA Animal Hospital, where she was spayed and received surgery to repair an injury on her right hind leg.
At the end of August, we moved Bailey to the ASPCA Adoption Center in hopes of finding her forever home. She was still scared, but we believed that the right adopter could help ease this sweet dog’s emotional wounds—and fortunately, we were right. On November 13, she met Freddy C.
“When I first laid eyes on Bailey, she was cowering in the corner of her enclosure with her tail between her legs and the saddest look on her face,” Freddy recalls. The Manhattanite was at our Adoption Center after his first dog, Bella, passed away. “Life is much better with a dog,” he said. As we filled Freddy in on Bailey’s past, his interest grew. “I was moved by her back-story of being in a basement and not going outside,” he says. “The thought of leaving Bailey to shake in the corner motivated me to bring her home, plus she’s so cute.”
Aware of Bailey’s issues and anxiety, Freddy readied himself for the road ahead. “When I first brought her home, she didn’t want to leave the house and seemed terrified whenever she was outside. She would pull back toward the building the entire time we were out. She also had no bark; she would nervously, quietly sit or lay down,” he says. But Freddy was patient, and with stability came progress.
“Bailey found her bark after a week or so, which was really nice,” he reported. “I was very happy because it made me feel like she was becoming more confident and acting more like a dog.” Soon she “took over” the apartment and made herself right at home. Freddy says, “Bailey’s a very sweet and snuggly dog that wants to spend most of the time at home playing with toys or sitting in my lap. She tends to plant herself there for most of the night.”
Though Freddy knows Bailey’s got more work to do, he is pleased with her progress and proud of how far she has come. She is peacefully coexisting with his resident cat, and he is looking forward to the day when the two pets will be friends. And though she is still mastering the art of housetraining, Freddy is optimistic about her success. “I think she’s come a long way so far,” he says. “She is a great dog and wonderful addition to my life.”
We believe that Bailey’s journey is just beginning, and we are so grateful to Freddy for giving her a second chance at life. “I’m very happy I adopted her,” he says—and we know she feels the same way, too.