On April 12, the ASPCA arrested a Bronx man for shooting his neighbor’s Maltese, Spike, after the dog wandered into his yard.
Donald Savino, 73, had signs in his yard that said “keep your dog off the grass.” When Spike slipped out the door and into Savino’s yard, Savino allegedly shot him with an air rifle from his window.
“He was smelling a tree,” Spike’s pet parent, Marco Lopez, told The New York Daily News. “Suddenly, I hear this noise....I hear my dog cry—he was screaming in pain.”
Lopez rushed his dog to an emergency veterinarian, but Spike couldn’t be saved and was humanely euthanized. ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Agents took Spike’s body to the ASPCA Animal Hospital, where our forensic veterinarians determined he had been shot twice, in two separate incidents, and that his injuries would have been fatal.
“You have no idea all the pain we went through,” Lopez told The Daily News. “We loved (Spike) so much....It was such a terrible way that he died.”
Savino was charged with aggravated animal cruelty, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal mischief and possession of an air rifle.
We can’t believe what happened to Spike, and we’re fighting every day to stop animal cruelty and ensure those who harm animals pay for their crimes. If you know of animal cruelty in your area, please report it. Animals are counting on us.
In September, the Bradford County Humane Society (BCHS) got a call that an elderly man had passed away, leaving behind six Chihuahua mixes. The dogs had not received care in over a week and urgently needed help.
BCHS, located in rural Pennsylvania, dispatched its animal cruelty investigator right away. At the home, the investigator found the dogs to be in serious condition, and that they had likely suffered long-term neglect. The pups needed veterinary care immediately—and the nearest clinic was 45 minutes away.
The investigator faced a tough choice: All six dogs had an urgent need for care, but the only vehicle she had was an old Ford F-150 pick-up that couldn’t fit them all. She was forced to make two trips.
Fortunately, with extensive veterinary attention and lots of care from dedicated BCHS staff, all the dogs pulled through and eventually found loving homes. Still, one thing was clearer than ever to BCHS Executive Director Jennifer L. Spencer: Her shelter needed a transport vehicle that would allow it to more efficiently carry out its life-saving work and cause less stress to transported animals. She applied for an ASPCA grant.
Since its inception in 2008, the ASPCA Grants Department has quickly become a key player in animal welfare philanthropy, helping fund exciting animal welfare programs in every state. To date, the ASPCA has made nearly $55 million in grants!
Last week, the ASPCA made its 5,000th grant, awarding $31,500 to BCHS for a brand-new transport vehicle, and we’re thrilled about how many animals we know it will help. BCHS will use the vehicle for cruelty investigations, as well as to ferry shelter animals to a local veterinary clinic for spay/neuter surgeries.
The vehicle will also help BCHS greatly expand its trap-neuter-return program, which just began in October and is the first of its kind in the area. Currently, BCHS must transport humanely trapped cats in the pick-up. With the new van, Spencer says, BCHS will be able to transport cats to the vet in one trip, reducing costs and stress for the animals.
Spencer says she’s already seeing signs that the program is reducing the local cat population and saving lives: “Last year at this time we were already overloaded with kittens,” she notes, “and right now we have open cages. I can’t wait for a year or two to go by to see what this program can do.”
We can’t wait, either, and we want to offer our sincerest congratulations to BCHS on receiving our 5,000th grant!
Attention, procrastinators! Even if you waited until the last minute to get started on your taxes this year, you can make a difference for animals when you file.
It’s easy to participate—just sign up for our We-Care.com extension here. This secure browser extension for Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox makes it possible for the ASPCA to automatically receive a donation from your purchases—at no cost to you (averaging 3%)*. It takes less than a minute to set up and, once you do, this reminder will let you know when you’ve visited a participating merchant’s website. Since H&R Block and Turbo Tax are just two of the 2,500+ merchants, tax season is just the start of many more ways that you can help animals with this download.
We appreciate all the merchants that are part of We-Care.com and make this enormous online shopping opportunity possible for the ASPCA. This partnership has made a real difference for countless animals.
Great news! Federal money for inspecting horse slaughter plants in the United States could soon be off the table, which would prevent the slaughter of horses for human consumption in the U.S. President Obama’s newly released FY 2014 budget proposal includes a request for Congress to block spending by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to inspect U.S. horse slaughter plants.
In 2005, a similar spending prohibition was passed by landslide, bipartisan votes in the House and Senate, shutting down horse slaughter operations in the U.S. However, it was not renewed in 2011, which created the potential for horse slaughter plants to reopen—at the expense of American taxpayers. Horse slaughter proponents wasted no time scouting locations: at least six applications to slaughter horses for human consumption have already been filed with the USDA.
“We are grateful to the White House and USDA for their leadership in ensuring that American horses are not slaughtered on our own soil for foreign demand, especially in light of the daily news from Europe about the horrors of discovering horse meat mixed with frozen lasagna and toxic chemicals in horse flesh sold for food,” says Nancy Perry, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Government Relations. “Wasting tax dollars on cruel and dangerous practices makes no sense, and we urge Congress to adopt this budget cut.”
Help us ensure that Capitol Hill hears the message to protect our horses, both here and abroad! The pro-slaughter industry will lobby intensely against this newest effort to prohibit federal dollars from being spent on horse slaughter, and our goal is to stop all American horses from experiencing the horrors of slaughter wherever it occurs, so we must continue to support the SAFE Act.
In the days after the ASPCA rescued Tyra from a Kentucky puppy mill, she was afraid of everything. When our behavior team touched the tiny Papillon during an evaluation, she shut down, paralyzed with fear. One glimpse of a child-size doll sent her reeling in terror. She was even too scared to eat.
Our behavior team knew it wouldn’t be easy, but they were determined to help Tyra. Our experts devised a program to treat her fear, hoping against hope that she would come out of her shell and learn to trust.
After a few months of treatment, the behavior team evaluated Tyra again. The results were thrilling, and we caught it on tape:
Tyra “seemed like a different dog,” remembers Kristen Collins, ASPCA Director of Anti-Cruelty Behavior Rehabilitation. “She approached us tail wagging, clearly eager to interact. She seemed to enjoy petting, played with a toy and investigated the doll. In short, she had transformed into a dog that was ready to enjoy her new life in a loving adoptive home.”
Seeing Tyra’s improvement, Collins and her colleagues were inspired; they knew their rehabilitation methods were effective, and that the time was right to launch the rehabilitation center they’d wanted to create for years.
Last month we opened the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in New Jersey. At this first-of-its-kind facility, we’re treating dogs like Tyra who are rescued from puppy mills and other cruelty situations, giving them the time and intensive support they need but can’t get anywhere else.
After her rehabilitation, Tyra was transferred to D.C.’s Washington Animal Rescue League for adoption. Though still a bit fearful, Tyra was ready to enjoy life as a family dog—and that’s exactly what she’s doing right now. Today she lives in Maryland and is cherished every day.
“Tyra is a wonderful dog!” her mom tells us. “I am so happy that ASPCA gave her another chance at life and to be happy.”