It’s no secret that animal abuse and animal fighting affect communities across the country. At the ASPCA, we know that the most effective way to fight these crimes is through proper response and investigation, and thankfully, the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office and the Nassau County Police Department are on our side. On Wednesday, May 27, members of the ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty Group (ACG) gathered at the Nassau County Police Academy in Long Island, New York, to share critical expertise and anti-cruelty knowledge with around 100 attendees from the Nassau County Police Department, Nassau County SPCA, Town of Hempstead, Town of North Hempstead, Hempstead Village Police Department and other municipal public safety representatives from throughout Nassau County.
Training topics included:
An overview of New York animal cruelty laws
The role of forensic veterinary medicine in animal cruelty cases
Proper investigation and evidence collection
How to have safe encounters with dogs
Introduction to blood sports investigation
A guide to recognizing hoarding and early intervention
The training was a continuation of an ongoing collaboration with authorities in Nassau County. On Wednesday, May 13, 2015, at the request of the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, the ASPCA assisted local authorities in a dog fighting investigation led by the Nassau County DA and Police Department. The ASPCA provided experts to identify crime scene evidence, conduct behavior evaluations of the seized animals, and serve as expert witnesses
Pictured from left: John Bolin, ASPCA NE Regional Investigator; Terry Mills, ASPCA Dir. of Blood Sports Division; Dr. Pam Reid, ASPCA Animal Cruelty Behavior Team; Elizabeth Brandler, ASPCA NYC Legal Advocacy Council; Colleen Doherty, ASPCA Cruelty Intervention Advocacy; Howard Lawrence, ASPCA Sr. Director of Anti-Cruelty Group; Detective Investigator Elizabeth Rye, NCDA Animal Crimes Unit. Credit to Nassau County District Attorney's Office
With warm weather on the rise, the question of pets’ fur is a hot topic. Almost every animal needs some type of grooming—whether it’s regular brushing or more in-depth care—and failure to groom can lead to serious consequences. When a cat named Charlemagne’s coat became more than his owner could handle, he was surrendered to the ASPCA where, fortunately, he met new pet parents who wouldn’t “brush” the issue aside. Now he’s living a happy, healthy life. Here is Charlemagne’s story.
Charlemagne and his sister, Chantilly, were both purchased from a cat breeder. Ragamuffin/Norwegian Forest mixes can cost more than $1,000 each, and they are known for their thick, luxurious fur. But with that beautiful fur comes added responsibility: these fancy felines must be groomed frequently, both at-home and by professionals, to avoid health issues. Unfortunately, Charlemagne and Chantilly’s owner couldn’t keep up with the cost of their care, so he surrendered them to the ASPCA.
At the ASPCA Animal Hospital, both cats arrived severely matted. Part of Chantilly’s coat had to be shaved off completely, and Charlemagne was so stressed and uncomfortable that he refused to eat for a few days. They finally acclimated, and on February 14—Valentine’s Day—both cats were adopted into separate homes.
Chantilly settled in to her new life nicely, but one week later, we were crestfallen to learn that Charlemagne had been returned. His new owner’s roommate was allergic to the cat’s lavish coat, so he was back at the ASPCA searching for what would now be his third home. Finally, on March 3, the pretty kitty found his new parents in the form of Ellie and Rich of Astoria, New York.
Ellie and Rich decided to adopt a cat after a positive experience pet-sitting for a friend. “The apartment just didn’t feel the same without some paws scurrying around,” Ellie recalls. On their very first trip to the ASPCA Adoption Center, they spotted Charlemagne. “It was one of those instantaneous feelings when we saw him. I gasped and Rich went, ‘Well, there he is.’”
They entered Charlemagne’s enclosure where he laid “belly side-up flopping around and purring,” Ellie says. “It was impossible not to be smitten with his silly sociability!” But the other thing that drew the couple to Charlemagne was the one thing that had created so many issues for him in the past: his fur. “He was beautiful. We had never seen a large Norwegian Forest/Ragamuffin before. He has a long, gorgeous grey coat. Needless to say, he was hard to resist.” They adopted Charlemagne that very same day.
Back at their apartment, Charlemagne (they call him “Charles” for short) settled into his new home with ease. “There wasn’t even an adjustment period!” Ellie says proudly. “He walked out of his kennel, sniffed, explored a bit, and flopped down to have his belly rubbed.” In addition to regular grooming, Charlemagne is now receiving the undivided love and attention he always deserved. “He loves to play and give and get affection. He follows us from room to room, like a magnet to our feet. It is absolutely impossible to imagine life without him,” she adds. “We are totally in love with Charlemagne!”
Congratulations to this happy family and to Charlemagne for receiving the “FURever” home of his dreams
Frankie, a tiny Yorkshire terrier, was 18 months old when he was dropped down a garbage chute in a Bronx, New York, apartment building last September. He sustained skull fractures and neurological trauma from the fall, which left him nearly completely blind in both eyes. He weighed just four pounds when New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers rescued him and brought him to the ASPCA Animal Hospital.
Over the next three months, ASPCA veterinarians carefully monitored Frankie as his wounds healed. He quickly became a staff favorite, and ASPCA Director of Veterinary Technicians Jennifer Coyle even provided hands-on foster care for Frankie in her office.
In December, a Manhattan native named Rose M. met Frankie while visiting the ASPCA during a break from her studies at Amherst College in Massachusetts. She fell in love and returned one month later to make the adoption official.
Rose patiently helped Frankie adjust to his new surroundings, which was a difficult process for the tiny pooch—compounded by his partial blindness.
“He is now well-adjusted, like any other fun-loving, cuddly Yorkie,” Rose says. “He loves his new home where he is meeting lots of new people and experiencing new things.”
This cuddly pup’s favorite activities include going on walks, chewing on household objects and playing "find it" with his favorite treats.
In photos on his very own Instagram account, Frankie also reveals his mischievous side—“eating” Rose’s homework, consuming her reading materials and sitting at her computer while she works. He also models his new collection of stylish sweaters.
After a rough start, we’re so glad Frankie’s story has a happy ending and that he is receiving the care and love he so desperately needed. Want to help ensure happy endings for other animal cruelty victims like Frankie? Consider making a donation to the ASPCA today.
When the company that sells roughly 25 percent of all groceries in this country makes a commitment to better farm animal welfare, it is a groundbreaking moment, and it sends ripples through the entire agriculture industry. That’s why it’s exciting that Wal-Mart has announced a broad new policy around the treatment of farm animals in their supply chain.
Integrating a commitment to the common-sense Five Freedoms, Wal-Mart calls for its suppliers to “find and implement solutions to address animal welfare concerns” around three specific issues: 1) the use of cages and crates that currently confine egg-laying hens, mother sows and calves; 2) painful and often unnecessary mutilations like tail docking, dehorning and castration; and 3) the slaughter of animals before they have been rendered unconscious.
This is a significant step by one of the most influential entities in the food industry, and should send a strong signal to companies that for both ethical or business reasons, ignoring farm animal suffering is no longer an option. In fact, Wal-Mart said its own research showed 77 percent of its shoppers would increase their trust in a retailer that improves the treatment of livestock. We commend Wal-Mart for taking steps to meet the public’s expectation that farm animals live decent lives. There is no more room on the supermarket shelf for farm animal suffering.
As the move to a more humane marketplace continues to gain momentum, we look forward to similar commitments from companies addressing the welfare of broiler chickens, who comprise 90 percent of the animals raised for food in this country.
As the unofficial start to summer, Memorial Day is a great excuse to get outdoors. But whether you’re partying, barbequing, or just soaking up some rays, it’s important to keep your pet’s safety in mind at all times. To prevent any Memorial Day mishaps, we’ve put together some tips to help protect animals during the “Dog Days” of the season.
Barbequing is one of the best parts of Memorial Day, but remember that the food and drink you serve your guests may be poisonous to pets. Keep alcoholic beverages away from animals, and remind guests not to give them any table scraps or snacks. Raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate, and avocado are all common at barbeques—and they’re all especially toxic to animals.
Be Cool Near the Pool
Don’t leave pets unsupervised around a pool or lake—not all dogs are expert swimmers! Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Also, try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains potentially dangerous chemicals like chlorine.
Skip the Spray
Unless specifically designed for animals, insect repellant and sunscreen can be toxic to pets. Signs of repellent toxicity include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, and lethargy. DEET, a common insecticide in products for humans, may cause neurological issues in dogs.
Made in the Shade
Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so if you’re spending time outside, give them plenty of fresh, clean water and make sure they have a shady place to get out of the sun. Note that animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
Time spent outdoors comes with the added risk of pets escaping. Make sure that your pet is fitted with a microchip or ID tag with identifying information, or both. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Opt for a Humane Holiday
Everyone loves a Memorial Day barbecue, but for those who eat meat, eggs or dairy, avoiding the worst factory-farmed products can be tricky. For help making the most compassionate choices this holiday (and all year long!), be sure to reference our humane picnic tips.