In January 2014, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed milestone legislation to allow local governments to regulate pet dealers for the first time in almost 15 years. We are thrilled to announce that the New York City Council has risen to the occasion and is currently considering three pieces of ASPCA-supported legislation that would lay down new rules for city stores that sell puppies and kittens.
While there are very few puppy mills within the five boroughs, there are over 70 stores that sell puppies and kittens, and they obtain their “stock” from breeders all over the country. While the Council can’t regulate breeders outside of the city, it can make sure that New York City pet stores don’t support the cruel treatment of these pups or their parents, who never get out of the puppy mills.
The three proposals currently under consideration:
Intro. 55-A would help ensure that NYC pet shops do not sell dogs and cats from breeders who fail to meet even the most basic care standards—those with certain violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act on their records—and would prohibit stores from doing business with Class B dealers, animal brokers notorious for obtaining animals from disreputable, difficult-to-trace sources. Intro 55-A would also require NYC pet shops to disclose critical information to customers about the origins of the dogs and cats they sell.
Intros. 136-A and 146-A would require that any dogs and cats sold at city pet shops are spayed/neutered and microchipped and all dogs are licensed prior to sale. Spaying and neutering animals sold in pet shops is critical to reducing pet homelessness; microchipping is essential to reuniting lost pets with owners; and licensing not only helps ensure the safety of pets and the public, but also generates much-needed revenue for the New York City’s shelter system.
If passed, these measures would take effect on June 1, 2015.
Are you planning to do some shopping this Cyber Monday? Great news: your purchases can also help support animals across the country! Whatever you’re shopping for, a portion of the purchase price of the products below are donated to the ASPCA.
Check out this year’s list of products:
WeCare.com Shoppers can raise money for the ASPCA by shopping online through the WeCare app, and a percentage of your purchase price will be donated to the ASPCA automatically!
Houlton Institute 40% of the sales price from each Fundamentals of Dog Care online course sold goes to the ASPCA!
Belk $5 from each purchase of the Charity Belkie Bear goes to the ASPCA.
Alex & Ani The ASPCA receives 20% of the purchase price of Alex and Ani’s Charity by Design bangle (minimum $20,000 donation).
Walkers Shortbread A minimum of ten cents from each package of Walkers Scottie Dog cookies is donated to the ASPCA.
Although there is still one month to go, we can safely say that 2014 has been a banner year for the ASPCA. We opened a new facility in Los Angeles, granted over $13 million to local shelters and animal welfare groups around the country, and helped pass crucial legislation in the fight against animal cruelty. But among our many accomplishments, there is one thing that we are most excited to share: adoption stories.
Helping abused and neglected animals find loving homes is at the heart of what we do. This year alone, our New York City Adoption Center helped find homes for over 3,300 animals, 300 of whom were victims of cruelty. And a home for these animals is more than just a warm bed or bowl of food—it’s a second chance at life.
To celebrate these happy new beginnings, we’ll be sharing 31 of our favorite Happy Tails from 2014 throughout the month of December. Every day, we’ll feature the story of an animal who has overcome cruelty or neglect and gone on to become a loving family pet.
To enjoy all “31 Days of Rescue,” simply follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest for daily updates. You can also follow the hashtag #31DaysOfRescue.
Though their pasts may have been painful, each of these 31 animals has found the “forever home” that they truly deserve—and to us, that is the Happiest Tail of all.
Guest blog by ASPCA President & CEO Matt Bershadker
There’s no denying that puppies and kittens are hard to resist—just see the reactions to our recent graduation ceremony at the ASPCA Kitten Nursery. But two other undeniable truths deserve even more of our attention: First, older shelter animals are just as loving, loyal and delightful as young ones. Second, senior animals are typically the last to be adopted and the first to be euthanized.
This is why Adopt a Senior Pet Month is so important. Every shelter has older dogs or cats in its care, but stigmas often deprive these animals of the right to be fairly considered.
Some adopters hesitate because they believe older pets are less likely to bond with new owners—this is not the case. While many senior animals have spent years or decades with previous owners, age is not a determining factor in an animal’s affection toward new owners or his/her ability to bond with them at any point. In fact, owners often easily form bonds with older pets due to the animals’ typically calmer dispositions, their familiarity with home environments, their experience dealing with other animals, and previous training.
Other myths about older pets include them being sick, unfriendly, dirty, and unsafe around young children. But none of that can be assumed any more than one would assume it with a newborn pet. Your local shelter or rescue group will be in the best position to assess potential matches, so be sure to ask lots of questions.
Beyond the misconceptions, there are clear benefits to adopting a senior pet. For starters, their behavior is more predictable because their personalities are already well developed. You’ll also know their full-grown size and activity level, and how that might affect your lifestyle.
Senior pets are also easier to train and require less monitoring than puppies or kittens, who sometimes can’t distinguish between a safe situation and a dangerous one. It’s nice to adopt a dog who likely knows what “no” means.
Additionally, senior animals won’t have teething issues and will come into your life already house-trained, meaning they’re less likely to cause destruction in your home—especially if you’re away for long periods. Older pets are also more accustomed to the predictable daytime and nighttime patterns of humans.
Organizations like Susie’s Senior Dogs, Muttville, and The Grey Muzzle Organization work hard to promote senior animals who are at increased risk of euthanasia, but you can play a crucial part by adopting one yourself, as well as by encouraging friends, family and colleagues to do the same. When you adopt an older pet, you’re not only bringing incredible joy into your home, but rescuing an animal that’s very close to peril.
Some inspiring senior success stories include Marnie, a senior Shih Tzu found abandoned and later adopted in 2012; and Arabelle, a senior pit bull rescued from a massive dog fighting operation we helped dismantle in 2013. Both of these dogs were adopted despite these deeply held misperceptions, and each brought as much love, enjoyment, and loyalty into their new homes as would an animal of any age.