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.
On March 24, the ASPCA assisted the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Attorney’s Office and local law enforcement agencies in a federal dog fighting raid that resulted in the seizure of nearly 100 dogs from multiple properties in Missouri, Kansas and Texas.
Yesterday, at a federal court in Kansas, justice was served. Two individuals connected with last March’s raid learned that they would serve time in prison, pay large fines and perform community service for their roles in the illegal enterprise.
Pete Davis Jr., 38, was sentenced to 16 months in prison and Melvin Robinson, 42, was sentenced to 10 months after pleading guilty to charges related to dog fighting. Davis and Robinson were also ordered to perform 50 hours of community service and pay $430,919 to the ASPCA for the care of the dogs seized. Both Davis and Robinson are also banned from owning dogs for three years following their sentences.
“The ASPCA is proud to have helped secure justice for the dogs involved in this case,” says Tim Rickey, Vice President of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “Thanks to the persistence of the FBI, U.S. Attorney’s Office and Missouri State Highway Patrol, these individuals are finally answering for the suffering they caused these dogs. Dog fighting is a horrific crime, and we encourage the public to continue to report suspected dog fighting activities to local authorities.”
I was talking to my friend and trainer Christopher Lane, and he told me about the 10K happening in Brooklyn. At first I was skeptical, but then I was told I could be a part of Team ASPCA, and that sealed the deal.
Three years ago, on June 13, to be exact, I adopted Clementine from a shelter in Atlanta. Clementine is some kind of doodle. We aren't exactly sure. My friends call her a floppity muppet. I call her the best decision I have ever made. So I'm running for the ASPCA to spread the word that adoption is an amazing option, and it’s personally enriched my life beyond words.
Training for race has been slow and steady. Christopher knows that I get overwhelmed when thinking about the full six miles. He set a slow and easy training plan for me to follow. I started by just run/walking 10 minutes down the road, then turning around and running 10 minutes home. I did this for the first couple of weeks, I progressed to 15 min each way, and then 20. I eventually felt comfortable running for a full hour. I like to train outside, but if I'm forced to run on a treadmill, I like to break it up. I run 10 minute intervals, then walk some and run 10 again.
For me, it's not about competition. It's not about speed. It's about getting out there, getting my body moving, and being a part of a great cause. So, just to be clear, I won't be winning the 10K, but I will finish! If I can share with everyone what a blessing adopting my sweet Clementine has been, it will all be worth it.
October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, and just in case you didn’t already know, we LOVE shelter dogs! This month celebrate your rescued pooches by posting their cutest pics on Instagram with the hashtag #ShelterDogsRock!
Not only will your photo will be showcased on Instagram, but we’ll also feature it in a special tab on our Facebook page! On October 31, we’ll choose our favorite shelter pup photo (never an easy task) and announce the winner on November 1.
What does the winner get? You’ll receive an ASPCA “I Love My Shelter Dog” jumbo tote full of delicious Walkers Shortbread Cookies (yep, those yummy, doggie-shaped butter cookies!).
So grab your phone, grab a photo, and show us your dog’s good side—and don’t forget to use the hashtag #ShelterDogsRock!
Jennifer Leary is a Philadelphia firefighter, the coordinator for the Philadelphia County Animal Response Team and founder of the Red Paw Emergency Relief Team.
In 1999, Hurricane Floyd claimed the lives of millions of animals, and thousands more were separated from their families. Many of these animals would have been saved if a pet-friendly coordinated response plan had been in effect. When Hurricanes Irene and Sandy struck, we saw that many counties had incorporated co-located pet shelters into their evacuation plans, but most people don’t know the amount of planning it takes to make this happen.
When a co-located pet shelter is developed, there are things an emergency planning committee needs to take into account:
The area where the animals are contained needs to be away from general population, but close enough so that the families can come by and care for their pets
There needs to be safe, outdoor access for dogs
A good source of ventilation is vital
The area needs to be pet-proofed and safe for all pets
As a volunteer for the Red Cross, I was assigned to a co-located pet shelter during Hurricanes Irene and Sandy. When a member of the community came to the shelter with their pet, the individual was greeted by a Red Cross volunteer who directed them to the temporary pet shelter. At pet check-in, a photo was taken of the family with their pet; along with proper paperwork, this helped maintain proof of ownership of the animal. The photo was also used to create special ID bracelets that were used as a visitor’s pass.
Emergencies come in many forms, and they may require anything from a brief absence from your home to permanent evacuation. Knowing their beloved pet has access to a safe haven helps families deal with the emotional tragedy of being forced out of their home.