A sign on the door of the house reportedly read “Premises is perilous to life,” and it was not a joke or an exaggeration. When the ASPCA and the NYPD entered the Queens home on Thursday, July 31, what we found was horrific—and heartbreaking.
Multiple dogs, many of whom were emaciated, scarred, and wearing heavy chains, were found without access to food or water. A bloody treadmill—a tool used to train dogs for fighting—weighted harnesses, steroids, syringes and other dog fighting paraphernalia were found in the home. At least one dog had deep scratch marks raked across its face.
Uniformed NYPD patrol officers from the 113th Precinct responded immediately to a complaint of dog fighting, called the ASPCA helpline, and less than 24 hours later both the NYPD and ASPCA—with the assistance of NYPD’s newly appointed Animal Cruelty Investigation Squad—were able to mobilize resources. Siblings Addison Holder, 44, and Keisha Hall, 33, are currently facing charges of animal fighting, unauthorized practice of veterinary medicine and felony drug possession, and are each being held on $100,000 bail. A third defendant was arrested on Wednesday, August 6.
The ASPCA has taken custody of the 20 canine victims found in the home. They are now receiving food, water, enrichment and love—many for the first time in their lives.
“Organized dog fighting is a brutal form of animal abuse where dogs are exploited and forced to fight as their owners profit from their torture,” says Matthew Bershadker, President and CEO of the ASPCA. “Through our partnership, the ASPCA and the NYPD are determined to protect New York City’s animals from this form of cruelty and bring their abusers to justice.”
Princess is a sweet and laid-back cat who likes rest and relaxation. This shy beauty prefers to take things slow and may need some time to warm up to you at first. With some yummy treats and her favorite toys, she’ll adjust to her new home in no time. Once she feels comfortable, she’ll come out of her shell for lots of playtime and cuddles with her new family!
Princess would do best in a quiet household with a patient and experienced adopter and teens 14-and-up. Adopt Princess today!
Princess is available for adoption at the ASPCA Adoption Center. If you are interested in adopting, please call our Adoptions department in New York City at (212) 876-7700 ext. 4120. To learn more about Princess, please visit her profile page.
We all know that physical abuse and extreme neglect constitute cruelty to animals—but one little-discussed form of cruelty is abandonment. Though it seems less dramatic than other violations, abandonment is indeed cruelty—and its consequences can be just as dire. For proof, look no further than Hal the cat, an animal whose health was profoundly compromised due to abandonment—and who ultimately found his happiness in a new forever home. Here is Hal’s Happy Tail.
Hal came to the ASPCA in July 2013 after being found abandoned in a carrier on the street. Left without care or provisions, his teeth were badly decayed and his mouth was bleeding. Because of significant oral pain, he was unable to groom himself and was so severely matted that his entire body needed to be shaved. Already emaciated, Hal’s teeth had to be removed, which forced him onto a special soft-food diet. And that wasn’t even the worst of it. During his time on the streets, he contracted persistent Giardia (an intestinal parasite) that likely came from drinking dirty puddle water. The poor cat had been through so much hardship, all because someone chose to abandon him on the street.
After a year in our care, Hal was stronger and healthier. Despite all he had been through, he was a social and affectionate boy, though slightly shy with new people. He was ready for his forever home, and we were eager to find him an adopter. Fortunately, it was around this time that Isabella R. made the decision to adopt a cat.
“I had been checking the ASPCA blog frequently and reading stories about all of these exceptional animals looking for their forever homes,” says Isabella. “Eventually, toward the end of June, I decided it was time to adopt.” At the ASPCA Adoption Center, Isabella spent two days meeting almost every available kitty, but she was having trouble choosing just one to be her new furry friend. When Hal started meowing suddenly, she asked an ASPCA volunteer about his history. “She told me Hal’s heartbreaking story, and afterwards I asked if I could offer him some treats,” she recalls. “As I opened his door, he started eagerly meowing again, and I knew that my home was now his home, too.”
Isabella adopted Hal that day, and he settled right into her apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. “I felt instantly connected and devoted to Hal,” says Isabella. “There is nothing I appreciate more than having him curled up on the side of my bed each night, or having him greet me at the door when I come home.” In fact, Isabella was so taken with her new buddy that she went back to the ASPCA two weeks later and adopted Hal’s new brother, Ari!
After his rough experience on the streets, Hal now spends his days happy, loved, well-fed and cared for. Never again will he experience the insidious pain of abandonment, and never again will he want for anything. Isabella says, “I cannot imagine my home without Hal in it,” but we’re pretty positive that Hal cannot imagine a better life than the one she has given him.
After receiving hundreds of submissions and thousands of votes, we are ready to announce the winners of the 2014 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge Photo Contest. We asked pet parents of cats and dogs adopted from competing Challenge shelters to send us photos of their furry friends, and it was difficult to choose, but we narrowed the entries down to 40 finalists. We’ve reviewed and tallied up the votes, and the results are in!
And the winners are…
The grand prize of $5,000 in ASPCA grant funding will be awarded to Lynchburg Humane Society (Virginia) for the winning photo of Rust.
Five shelters will receive $2,000 in ASPCA grant funds for their second-place photo submissions:
If you volunteer or work at your local shelter or spay/neuter clinic, or are involved in rescue work to help animals in your community, we’ve got a couple of questions for you...
Q. When is a paper plate not just a paper plate?
A. When it’s a make-shift E-collar for kittens who’ve just been spayed or neutered! Time- and money-savers, paper plates are great for use in foster homes, where you may not always have access to E-collars (especially late at night!), and can be used in shelter clinics when a quick E-collar is called for.
Q. What can you put in a baby pool other than water?
A. Puppies! Easy to clean, disinfect and reuse, baby pools are perfect for use in a shelter setting as a safe and sanitary area to contain pups, as well as for providing mom easy retreat for some R&R.
Q. Does saving animals’ lives knock your socks off?
A. Baby socks can be used to keep paws warm while animals are under anesthesia and recovering from surgery, as shown here.
Seeing a common theme? These everyday items can make life a little easier for the homeless animals you help care for, and can go a long way to stretch precious dollars for your local agencies, many of which rely on volunteers and animal advocates in the community.
With a little help from shelters all around the country, the team at ASPCApro, ASPCA.org’s sister website for animal welfare professionals, has put together a downloadable guide that’s free for shelter and rescue staff and volunteers, and anyone else involved in helping their community’s animals.