Virtual Piggy is an online family wallet that protects your child's privacy when he or she shops online under the limits you set. Parents stay in control, kids and teens get to learn financial responsibility, and there are never any fees or charges. It’s a great way to create an ongoing family conversation around financial literacy by empowering kids to make decisions within parental boundaries.
Virtual Piggy also provides kids and teens with tools to help them budget, save and give to charities responsibly. The service is 100% free to use, and available online or via mobile.
“Philanthropy is important to us and a key component to a well-rounded knowledge of financial literacy,” says Dr. Jo Webber, CEO and founder of Virtual Piggy. “We are excited to work with the ASPCA, which is one of the Virtual Piggy members’ favorite charities.”
“Kids and teens have always had a passion for the welfare of animals,” adds Elysia Howard, ASPCA Vice President of Marketing and Licensing. “Now they can feel empowered to directly contribute to a cause they deeply care about.”
Donate to the ASPCA at no cost to you by setting up a free account at Virtual Piggy—visit www.virtualpiggy.com/ASPCAtoday to get started.
It was difficult to choose, but we have selected 40 exceptional finalists representing 26 Challenge shelters. Now it’s up to you to pick the winners! Visit our $100K Challenge Photo Contest Pinterest Board to vote for your favorite photos from July 23, 2013, at 5:00 P.M. EDT to August 5, 2013, at 11:59 P.M. EDT. Submit your vote using the “like” and “repin” actions on Pinterest—one “like” equals one point and one “repin” equals two points. Contest winners will receive prizes from $1,000 to $5,000 in ASPCA grant funds for their local Challenge shelter.
Way to go, San Diego! On July 9, the City Council voted to ban the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores. Effective 30 days from the vote—so, in early August—retailers may no longer source animals from commercial breeders (many of which are puppy mills). They are allowed to offer in-store adoptions of humanely sourced animals, such as those from shelters, which the ASPCA, of course, fully supports.
The new rule makes San Diego the second-largest city in California, behind Los Angeles, to ban retail sales of commercially bred animals—and you might be surprised to learn that a total of 32 cities in North America (including Austin, Albuquerque and Toronto) have similar ordinances in place!
At the ASPCA, we’re working from many angles to end puppy mill suffering. Encouraging stores to offer pet adoptions, rather than selling pets bred in questionable, often inhumane conditions, is one of our very top priorities. Please visit No Pet Store Puppies to learn more and to get involved.
A disturbing new trend—“pet flipping”—has been getting a lot of attention this week.
Pet flipping involves a criminal picking up a pet, either by stealing the animal or claiming to be the pet parent of a missing pet, and then quickly selling the animal for a profit. Is your blood boiling yet? It gets worse!
According to Time, pet flipping is on the rise in cities including Kansas City, St. Louis and Indianapolis. The stolen dogs are often purebred and very valuable. In March, an Indianapolis man was arrested after a three-month investigation found he had been stealing dogs for years, mostly purebred German Shepherds, Rottweilers and Pit Bulls.
“Many of these pets are housed in puppy mill-like conditions until they can be flipped—no food or water, caged and sick,” Dawn Contos, of Indianapolis Animal Care and Control, said in an interview following the arrest.
Guest blog by Deborah Dubow Press, Regulatory Affairs Senior Manager, ASPCA Government Relations
It has been nearly eight years since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, forever changing the way America responds to natural disasters. The human and animal suffering wrought by Katrina and Superstorm Sandy should remain fresh in our minds as we enter another hurricane season, and preparedness should top the agendas of animal caretakers and policy makers.
That’s why yesterday we were shocked to learn that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) may be reconsidering the disaster plan rule requiring all facilities licensed under the federal Animal Welfare Act—this includes breeders, zoos, research facilities, dealers, and other exhibitors and intermediate handlers—to prepare emergency plans for protecting and caring for animals during disasters. Asking those who use animals commercially to demonstrate a level of readiness to protect animals in their custody is fair and reasonable. We are dismayed by the possibility that the USDA would waver on a rule that could save lives at such a small cost.
For the ASPCA responders who experienced Katrina, Sandy, and countless other disaster deployments firsthand, the horrors of these events have not faded from memory: dogs chained in yards and left to drown; cats starving to death in homes after evacuations dragged on and on; animals covered in oil and toxic sludge; dogs stranded on rooftops; animals wandering the streets malnourished, dehydrated, and frightened, many never to be reunited with their owners.
The more that pet owners and animal facilities prepare for emergencies, the better responders can focus their relief efforts when disaster strikes. We hope that ultimately the USDA will remember the heartbreaks of Katrina, Sandy, Joplin, and countless other disasters and renew its resolve to protect imperiled animals under its jurisdiction.