Yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives passed a modified Farm Bill that will affect animals in two distinct ways. On the plus side, the bill contains an important provision to strengthen laws against animal fighting. The provision, included through the leadership of Reps. Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Tom Marino (R-PA), would make attending an animal fight a federal offense and impose additional penalties for bringing a child to an animal fight. This provision is similar to the Animal Fighting SpectatorProhibition Act (S. 666/H.R. 366), standalone legislation with strong bipartisan support from 154 cosponsors in the House.
The ASPCA applauds Representatives McGovern and Marino for their continued leadership in strengthening laws to combat animal fighting and protect public safety.
On the negative side, the House-passed Farm Bill includes a provision introduced by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) that would weaken state animal cruelty laws across the country. This dangerous provision would prevent states from passing their own laws regarding the production of “agricultural products”—a term so broad that it could include farm animals and dogs in puppy mills. As a result, improved animal welfare standards at the state level could be negated if this provision is enacted.
The House Farm Bill must now be reconciled with the Senate-passed version. The Senate bill, passed last month, contains similar animal fighting language but does not contain the dangerous King provision. The ASPCA continues to work with Congress to make sure that the final Farm Bill eventually presented to the President includes the best possible protections for animals. Join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade to learn how you can help!
We recently told you that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved applications for horse slaughter inspections at Valley Meat Company LLC in Roswell, New Mexico, and Responsible Transportation in Sigourney, Iowa. The USDA is likely to also grant horse slaughter inspections at Rains Natural Meats plant in Gallatin, Missouri, in the coming days.
This week we learned that no horse slaughter plants will be granted inspections until at least July 29 as a result of a lawsuit filed against the USDA by several animal welfare organizations.
This lawsuit buys critical time for our horses. The Agriculture Appropriations bills, which contain language that would prevent horse slaughter in the U.S., are expected to pass in the coming months. We are seeing building momentum for the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, which would prevent the slaughter of horses in the U.S., end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad and protect consumers from unknowingly ingesting toxic horse meat.
Listen up! I bet you didn't know that most puppies sold in pet stores come from puppy mills, which are large-scale breeding facilities where people value money more than they do the welfare of the dogs. The dogs in puppy mills don't get to play, don't get daily walks and don't get the love that animals deserve. Imagine man's best friend living in a cage only six inches longer than its body in each direction—for their entire lives! And that's completely legal. It's messed up.
If a pet store tells you they don’t get their puppies from puppy mills, don't believe them. It would be like me telling you I don't use hair gel. The ASPCA launched a new tool on its "No Pet Store Puppies" website showing that "USDA licensed" doesn't mean much. The current USDA standards are so weak that dogs in these breeding facilities are often mistreated and suffer from lack of vet care.
Check out the photos of breeders taken by the USDA to see where pet store puppies really come from (warning: some of the pics are graphic!). The online database has more than 10,000 photos of breeding facilities and link some of them to pet stores throughout the country that have sold puppies within the last year.
As an ASPCA ambassador, I encourage animal lovers, like myself, across the country to put an end to this cruel industry. Here's what you can do to help:
Take the pledge not to buy any items from stores or websites that sell puppies. That includes pet food, supplies, treats or toys.
If you're looking for a new puppy, don't buy a puppy from a pet store and instead make adoption your first option, or seek a responsible breeder if you choose not to adopt.
Sunday, July 21, is “No Pet Store Puppies” Day. Help us spread the word and share the news with your friends and family via Facebook and Twitter.
Join an ASPCA Twitter chat on July 23 at 2:00 P.M. (ET), where you’ll have a chance to ask their puppy mill expert everything you wanted to learn about puppy mills. Follow #ASPCAchat.
Help us put an end to puppy mills and protect man's best friend. Say no to pet store puppies—and adopt, don't shop! Yeah, Buddy!!!!
It’s hot out there! And if your Golden Retriever or long-haired kitty seems to suffer when the mercury rises, you might feel some temptation to break out your grooming tools and give your pets a full shave-down. We get where you’re coming from.
But wait! Put down those clippers! According to experts, you’ll be doing your pet a disservice. Here’s why:
While you or I would hate to sport a fur coat in 100-degree weather, your pets’ fur coats are actually providing them with heat relief.
“A dog’s coat is kind of like insulation for your house,” explains Dr. Louise Murray, Senior Vice President of the ASPCA Animal Hospital. “Insulation stops your home from getting too cold in winter, but it also keeps it from overheating in summer—and your dog’s coat does the same thing.”
Dogs’ coats have several layers, and these layers are essential to your dog’s comfort in the heat. Robbing your dog of this natural cooling system can lead to discomfort and overheating. And keeping your dog cool isn’t the only reason to leave his coat intact, Dr. Murray warns.
Your dog’s coat prevents your pup from getting sunburn and helps protect her from skin cancer.
To protect your pet from sunburn and skin cancer, save longer walks for evenings, and consider applying pet-specific sun block to thinly covered areas like the bridge of your dog’s nose, the tips of his ears and his belly, Dr. Murray suggests, noting that pets with thin coats, as well as those with white or light-colored coats, are especially at risk for sun damage.
There are better ways to manage your pets’ coats to keep them cool: trimming and brushing.
“It’s OK to trim your long-haired dog’s long hair, such as any hair that hangs down on his legs,” Dr. Murray says. Just never attempt to clip mats off your pet’s coat with scissors, Dr. Murray adds. And if you’ve got a long-haired kitty, leave her coat intact. Instead, brush her a little more frequently during the hot summer months.
Of course, pet parents should remember to keep pets inside with plenty of water during hot days—hydration is key! For more important information on summer pet care, visit our Hot-Weather Tips. Stay cool out there!
When Marlene M. took on her first ASPCA foster dog, a white ball of fluff named Curly Sue, she didn’t know that Curly Sue would soon become a “foster failure.”
“I was fostering her for about three months and of course, she grew on me, as well as my cats—they all got along so well,” Marlene says. “Her personality started to come out, she became less shy and started asserting herself with the other animals.”
When it came time to part with Curly Sue so that she could be made available for adoption at the ASPCA Adoption Center in Manhattan, Marlene says she felt very protective of her, and wanted to make sure Curly Sue found an excellent adopter. It didn’t take long for Marlene to decide the perfect place for Curly Sue was in her own home.
Marlene says the adoption process was easy because of her familiarity with Curly Sue’s history, experience caring for her, and first-hand knowledge of her personality quirks. Curly Sue couldn’t be happier with her new family.
“She sticks by my side wherever I go,” Marlene says. “She and the cats get along well; the cats are bigger than she is, but she keeps them in their place if they try to run over her! I recently took her on a road trip to Michigan, a 13-hour drive, and she had a blast exploring new territory.”
We’re thrilled that Curly Sue’s foster placement turned into a wonderful forever home. If you live in New York City and think you might be a good fit for a foster animal, please read more about the ASPCA foster program.