In response to objections raised by the ASPCA and the Washington Humane Society (WHS), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has determined that a Washington, D.C. ban on pets in public housing violates federal law. As a result, the D.C. Housing Authority (DCHA) will have to amend its policy and allow pets in housing for the elderly and disabled.
DCHA currently prohibits all pets in D.C. housing projects with the exception of pets already living in senior buildings before 2005. However, the Housing and Urban-Rural Recovery Act of 1983 mandates that owners and managers of federally assisted rental housing for the elderly and disabled cannot prohibit any tenant from having common household pets.
The ASPCA’s extensive research on pet homelessness has found that lack of affordable, pet-friendly housing is consistently a driver for relinquishment.
“Pets provide a source of constant, uncomplicated comfort and have been shown to enhance health and wellbeing, particularly for the elderly and people with disabilities,” says Nancy Perry, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Government Relations. “We look forward to working with DCHA to craft a model pet policy that benefits pets and people.”
Other groups who support the proposed changes to DCHA’s pet policy include the AARP Legal Counsel for the Elderly, Bread for the City, Legal Aid of the District of Columbia, and the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless
We have exciting news: we are pleased to announce that the ASPCA has acquired Asheville, North Carolina-based Humane Alliance (HA), the nation’s leading training and education organization focusing on high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter—one of the most effective tools the animal welfare community has to combat homelessness and the needless euthanasia of dogs and cats.
HA operates the foremost national spay/neuter clinic training program as well as a unique national veterinary training and education program that teaches best practices to hundreds of veterinary students and private veterinarians every year. HA also operates a local spay/neuter clinic program in counties surrounding Asheville, where the organization plays an important role in local animal population control.
Humane Alliance, now a program of the ASPCA, will expand capacity for vet students and veterinarians and the number of spay/neuter clinics and practitioners trained nationwide. This will make it possible for veterinarians, shelters, and rescue operations to reach millions more at-risk animals with these critical services, dramatically reducing the number of homeless pets entering shelters across the country.
“From our animal sheltering work to field rescues to legislative advocacy, spay/neuter is an essential component of the ASPCA’s animal welfare efforts,” says ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker. “We have long admired and supported Humane Alliance’s innovations in spay/neuter practice and training, and are excited to combine forces to end animal homelessness and suffering around the country.”
Earlier this year, the ASPCA announced its plan to build a permanent ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in nearby Weaverville, North Carolina, following the success of its pilot program in New Jersey. The $9 million, 35,000-square-foot facility will be custom-fitted with individual kennels, outdoor pens and indoor treatment areas. There, experienced behaviorists and trainers will use specialized protocols to help dogs with behavioral challenges become suitable for adoption. The center is scheduled to open in 2017.
We look forward to the many positive changes these new initiatives will bring for millions of at-risk animals nationwide.
We are excited to announce that 145 shelter dogs, cats and kittens took flight on Thursday during a large-scale animal transport, and will now be available for adoption at partner shelters in Oregon and Washington state. The ASPCA teamed up with the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control, along with Wings of Rescue, to transport these animals from LA County shelters by plane in the hopes of giving them a second chance to find loving homes.
For fans of Dr. Seuss who remember the author’s love of animals, it will come as no surprise that pets take center stage in the latest work by Theodor Seuss Geisel.
What Pet Should I Get?, the newly released book by the beloved children’s writer, captures the excitement—and indecision—of a brother-sister duo as they choose the family pet. The book’s afterword details Geisel’s fondness for the animals he cared for during his life and notes the importance of pet adoption and animal care.
In honor of the book, the ASPCA is joining forces with Random House Children’s Books and Dr. Seuss Enterprises for a special social media campaign to call attention to pet adoption from a shelter or rescue organization, and celebrate the unique bond between people and their pets. We hope the campaign will serve as further encouragement to raise pets safely and lovingly in a forever home.
We’re asking pet parents to show the love they have for their pets by sharing a photo of, or with, their furry friend on Instagram or Twitter, and tagging it with the hashtag #whatpet. For every photo shared on Instagram or Twitter using the #whatpet tag, Random House Children’s Books and Dr. Seuss Enterprises will donate one dollar to the ASPCA to help raise money for animals in need across the country, up to the first 15,000 photos.
We’re grateful to Random House Children’s Books and Dr. Seuss Enterprises for this wonderful opportunity to remind readers that no matter what type of pet you get, pet adoption is always the best option.
Join in on the fun! After you share your pet’s photo, be sure to check out other pet parent’s with their four-legged companions at www.WhatPet.com.
Since the ASPCA’s 2014 announcement of our $25 million, multi-year commitment to saving animals in Los Angeles, we have had the privilege of teaming up with many of LA’s most committed animal advocates to make a positive impact for thousands of cats and dogs in the area. One way in which we’re making a difference is by empowering community members to assist homeless pets in their own neighborhoods. Recently, two LA families did just that.
With guidance from the ASPCA’s Safety Net program, a collaboration with the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Control and the Los Angeles County Animal Care Foundation, the Fernandez family welcomed three neonate kittens into their home earlier this summer. After one month of care, the tiny felines were strong enough to be placed in loving homes. The Fernandez family helped to find willing adopters for the kittens, and stayed in contact with them following the adoption process to make sure the kittens continued to thrive.
A Good Samaritan named Christina found two abandoned kittens in her neighborhood, who she named Vanilla and Cinnamon. Christina brought the kittens to the ASPCA, where we provided her with vouchers for spay/neuter procedures, cat food and a crate to get her started. Christina plans to care for Vanilla and Cinnamon until they are old enough to be spayed/neutered and find loving forever homes.
“We are in the midst of kitten season, the time of year when the number of kittens entering shelters in Los Angeles and across the country skyrockets,” says Bernice Osorto, Safety Net manager for the ASPCA. “Fostering kittens during this busy season can help free up space in crowded shelters and save lives.”
We are thankful to the Fernandez family, as well as Christina, for working toward positive change for animals in their communities.
The Fernandez family, pictured here, also adopted two dogs named Tbone and Nini.