Yesterday 13 organizations representing food safety, organic consumers, and animal welfare joined the ASPCA in asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to improve care standards for animals raised under the USDA’s National Organic Program (any animal used to produce products sold with the “USDA Organic” seal).
The Organic Program’s current animal welfare rules are far too lax. A 2014 survey [PDF] commissioned by the ASPCA found big gaps between consumer expectations and USDA requirements when it comes to things like space and outdoor access for the animals it calls organic. The ASPCA has sought better welfare for USDA Organic animals for years, and we now have a unique opportunity: The USDA will be revisiting its rules this year!
With this joint letter to the Secretary of Agriculture [PDF] we’ve made clear that the organic label needs to start meeting its obligations to both animals and consumers. The USDA’s National Organic Program has an obligation to ensure strong animal welfare.
We will continue working on this issue in the coming months and will let you know how you can help with this important effort!
At the ASPCA, we’re equally fond of dogs and cats, but we recognize that not all everyone feels the same way—some adopters are firmly “dog people” while others can’t get enough of our purring feline friends. So when one lifelong member of “Team Dog” came to our Adoption Center and fell for a kitty named Gala, we knew that their bond was truly meant to be. Here is the story of how Gala the cat won over a dog-lover named Erin.
“I was born a proud ’dog person,’” Erin D. recalls. She adopted her rescue pooch, Feeny, from an Atlanta-area shelter eight years ago, and last spring, she decided to adopt another pet to keep him company. Her commitment to canines was steadfast. “A dog is man’s best friend, right? What could truly compare to a wagging tail, fierce, protective loyalty and the unwavering, unconditional, instantaneous love a dog provides every second you walk in the door?” she asked. As it turns out, the answer was surprising: A cat from the ASPCA.
Erin first came to our Adoption Center in March 2014, about a month after we had rescued a tiny four-pound kitten named Gala from a home with too many animals. Gala was shy and timid, but had an undeniably sweet disposition. Erin met with one of our adoption counselors (or, as she calls them, “Matchmakers”), who asked some questions about what she was looking for in a pet. That’s when she was taken to the kitten room where Gala was being housed.
“I met eight-month-old Gala and it was a purrrrfect match,” Erin says. “She was very affectionate and seemed to take a liking to us almost immediately.” After an adoption interview, she adopted Gala, purchased all the necessary kitten supplies from the ASPCA, took the kitty home and changed her name to Olive.
Olive took to Erin (and her new brother, Feeny) almost immediately. “She and my dog warmed to each other quickly,” Erin says. “She is not shy at all anymore and has become quite social and very entertaining.” Erin adds that Olive loves to cuddle and never ceases to make her laugh with her “aspiring-Olympian” antics. “She is a very well-adjusted, happy, healthy, sweet little cat who has proven to be extremely loving and social. The ASPCA truly helped me find my match in a cat, and I couldn’t recommend a place for animal adoption more highly.”
But Olive did more than find the perfect home—she shook Erin’s “Team Dog” stance entirely. Erin says, “She defied all of my pre-conceived ‘dog person’ judgments. I truly love cats AND dogs now—in fact, I may actually take more shameless selfies with Olive than I do with Feeny! In 50 years, that may just be me living next door to you with a ton of adopted little kitties, so come on by.”
In closing, Erin says, “The animals up for adoption at the ASPCA are incredible.” Then she adds with a smile, “Thanks ASPCA, for giving me a full-blown identity crisis.”
Every now and then, we come across a special pet who needs a little extra help finding a home. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we’re focusing our Adoption Spotlight on Patty, a sweet and affectionate cat who is who is ready to find his forever family.
Need a St. Patrick’s Day sidekick? Look no further than Patty. This handsome cat is currently being fostered at the ASPCA offices, but he can’t wait to join a loving home. We know he’ll make one lucky adopter very happy!
Patty is an affectionate cat who loves attention from his favorite humans. He can be shy at first and it might take him some time to settle into his new home, but don’t be fooled. With a little space to himself and some yummy treats, he’ll come out of his shell for lots of playtime in no time.
This stately guy is big fan of chin scratches and gentle pets on the back—oh yeah, and plenty of naps! His foster mom says he has the most adorable soft snore. When he’s not sleeping, Patty takes his job of monitoring the world outside your windows very seriously. Patty even makes a great assistant—he’ll remind you if you’re late with breakfast or dinner and will inspect your lunch on a daily basis.
Patty has a couple of special health conditions and can be particular about his litter box, but our Behavioral team can walk you through the best ways to manage his needs. If you are interested in adopting Patty, please call our Adoptions Department in New York City at (212) 876-7700 ext. 4120. To learn more about Patty, please visit his profile page.
Can’t adopt? Help find Patty a home! Post our card below to your favorite social media site to share Patty with your friends and family.
We’ve got big news for anyone looking to get more involved in the ASPCA’s life-saving work: It is now easier than ever to raise money for homeless, abused and neglected animals through Team ASPCA! In 2014, we launched the all new aspca.org/teamaspca to help animal-lovers create personal fundraising pages in honor of a special person, pet or event. Here are three of the many new ways you can fundraise for the ASPCA:
1. Fundraiser Events. Help save more lives by putting your talents to work to raise money for the ASPCA. From bingo night to bake sales, wine-tasting parties to neighborhood dog walks, you can host whatever type of fundraiser works for you. Every dollar you raise furthers the ASPCA’s groundbreaking work and helps build a more humane country for animals in need.
2. Online Campaigns. Now you can help save lives from the comfort of your own home. The ASPCA has custom pages for Birthdays, Weddings, Memorials and more to help you celebrate milestones or remember the life of a beloved person or pet. And if you don’t want to wait for a special occasion, you can simply start a Rock Star Pets campaign to honor the “rock star” pet in your life! There is no fundraising minimum—a gift of any amount is much appreciated and goes a long way in helping our animal friends.
3. Team ASPCA Athletic Events. Join Team ASPCA for one of our signature athletic events across the country to walk or run toward helping the ASPCA provide life-saving programs and services to millions of animals nationwide. Team ASPCA participates in world-renowned marathons, half-marathons and other major athletic events. By joining us, you’ll reach your fitness goals AND make a real difference for animals in need. Already have your entry in a local race or walk? You can still join Team ASPCA by becoming an athletic ambassador and receive an ASPCA shirt by reaching the fundraising milestone.
When you fundraise for the ASPCA, you are not only raising crucial funds to support our life-saving programs and initiatives, you are also spreading awareness of our mission to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. Visit aspca.org/teamaspca to learn more.
Tax season may not be your favorite time of year, but we have good news—you can actually help animals while filing your taxes!
To participate, sign up at We-Care.com, and the ASPCA will automatically receive a donation when you file with TurboTax—at no cost to you. A donation of 7.5% is made for each TurboTax Online product and $0.50 for each TurboTax Online Federal Free Edition product. This opportunity is made possible through the ASPCA's partnership with We-Care.com, allowing users to unlock donations while shopping at over 3,000 participating merchants.
April 15 is closer than you think! So get a jumpstart on your taxes—and make a difference for countless animals at the same time.