The length to which some people will go to eat “adventurously” has us shaking our heads in disbelief.
In recent years, there’s been a bump in consumer demand for exotic meats—including lion meat. Surprisingly, most lion meat seems to be supplied by businesses in the state of Illinois.
Where do the slaughtered lions come from? No one is really sure. One Illinois supplier claims the meat is the byproduct of a separate venture that sells the animals’ skins, while many restaurateurs who offer lion meat are under the impression that there’s a USDA-inspected “lion farm” outside of Chicago (not true). Whether the lions are actually coming from African poachers, or are discards from private owners and inhumane roadside zoos in the U.S., this is a problem.
Due to hunting and habitat loss, the planet’s African lion population has been reduced by half in the past 20 years, and there’s a strong case for adding lions to the federal Endangered Species List. The last thing anyone should want to do is glamorize lion meat and increase demand for it.
An Illinois state representative, Rep. Luis Arroyo, has taken action by introducing the first-ever state bill to ban possessing, breeding, buying or selling lions for their meat. The Illinois Lion Meat Act will soon by voted on by the state’s House of Representatives—if you live in Illinois, please help the lions by asking your state representative to vote for it.
In late March, the ASPCA played a critical role in a three-state dog fighting raid that resulted in the rescue of nearly 100 animals. A few weeks after this intricately coordinated effort to rescue dogs in Texas, Missouri and Kansas went off without a hitch, we’re able to update you on the dogs and the dog fighters.
When we found these dogs, many were doomed to live their whole lives tethered by heavy chains—and on the day of the raid, many were left outside to suffer through a blizzard. Now, says ASPCA Vice President of Field Investigations and Response Tim Rickey, they’re living in an entirely different world.
When the dogs arrived at our temporary shelter, our veterinary professionals, led by the ASPCA’s Dr. Sarah Kirk, examined them quickly and thoroughly. Some dogs needed immediate care, while others require ongoing treatment which they are now receiving from ASPCA and local veterinarians.
An ASPCA behaviorist will be on the ground at the shelter throughout this operation, and while the dogs stay in our clean and spacious shelter, they will benefit from behavioral enrichment programs that incorporate toys, games and lots of fun interactions with people. The dogs will have regular access to one of several large exercise playpens, where they’ll get to play with our responders and burn off excess doggy energy.
“Every day,” Rickey says, “we’re focusing on taking care of these animals and providing the best environment that we can for them.”
The ASPCA continues to work to collect evidence and provide other support to law enforcement, working to ensure dog fighters pay for harming these animal victims. The charges are just starting to roll in:
Last week Pete Davis Jr. and Melvin L. Robinson, both of Kansas City, Kansas, were each charged in federal court with one count of transporting animals for participation in an animal fighting venture in interstate commerce. If convicted, they face up to five years in federal prison and a possible fine of up to $250,000.
“The case is not over yet—there’s still a lot of work to be done on the investigation side,” says Rickey, adding that he hopes to see more arrests in relation to this raid.
The ASPCA had been assisting the FBI, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Missouri State Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies with the planning of this large-scale raid since November 2012. ASPCA Blood Sports Director Terry Mills provided his expertise to help these agencies maximize the operation’s impact. Our next steps: continuing to provide top-notch care for these animals and working with authorities to secure the right to place dogs in loving homes.
If you’ve given to the ASPCA recently, from the bottom of our hearts: thank you. This raid is an enormous undertaking and a huge commitment, but we are dedicated to being there for animal victims of cruelty whenever they need us. If you haven’t yet given lately, please consider doing so today. On behalf of animals across the country, thank you!
For the fifth year in a row, the ASPCA was honored to be selected as one of five national charities to participate in the Subaru “Share the Love” winter event. During the campaign, which took place from November 2012 to January 2013, Subaru donated $250 to the new owner’s choice of five participating charities whenever a new vehicle was purchased or leased. As a result, $1.4 million was raised for the ASPCA, and 100% of the funds have been distributed as grants to animal welfare organizations in all 50 states!
Bu that’s not all! During “Share the Love,” we helped match shelters with local Subaru dealerships to host events promoting pet adoption. A record 116 events took place, resulting in more than 1,300 adoptions.
Adoption event attendees and grantees were encouraged to share pictures from the events on Twitter, and now you can join in! Help us share our love back to Subaru on behalf of all the animals they have helped: Share your love by tweeting photos of your pets and your very own Subaru vehicles using the hashtag #aspcaSTL.
Reminder for ASPCA Guardians and Founders: You may be eligible for a special offer from Subaru when you lease or purchase a new Forester, Impreza, Legacy, Outback, Tribeca, WRX, STI, BRZ or XV Crosstrek. As an added bonus, Subaru will also donate $100 to the ASPCA! Please review offer details on ASPCA.org before contacting your local Subaru dealership.
“Banjo was listed as extremely shy when I received his behavioral report. Upon bringing him into our home with Rhubarb [his dog brother] as a guide, he is a total social butterfly! Rhubarb and Banjo play wonderfully together, and not only has he learned from my teachings, he is learning from Rhubarb! They love to take naps together and drinking water at the same time— it’s so sweet to watch them scurry around together. We love Banjo very much and are so happy to have such a beautiful little puppy added to our family!”
Murphy (formerly known as Monika)
Adopter: Casey K.
“After meeting with one of the behaviorists, we were introduced to Murphy—she is playful, sweet, curious, and just a really great pup overall. It was love at first sight, and each day we are all falling more in love with her. She is a very happy, playful puppy. Many friends have come to say hello to her, and each day she become more bold and curious with us and her surroundings. She is very relaxed and often will fall asleep on her back and loves having her tummy rubbed. We are deeply grateful that she has come into our lives.”
Emily (formerly known as Emilie)
Adopter: Nicole D.
“My husband Tom, our 2.5-year-old Dachshund, Eli, and I walked to the ASPCA in hopes of adopting a little brother or sister for Eli. We picked out Emily, as she reminded us a lot of Eli, with the spots on her head and her fuzzy ears. When the two dogs met, it was clear that this was the start of what would become a long and beautiful friendship. Although Emily is still quite shy around my husband and me, she is learning from Eli, and I know with time, she will come out of her shell and realize all the love that surrounds her.”
Marcel (formerly known as Dieter)
Adopter: Melanie S.
“After losing my childhood pet two years ago—a Lab/Basset mix—I started to really miss the warmth and energy of a dog in my life. I love Dachshunds and was spending all of my free time searching rescue websites. Finally, I heard about the puppies at the ASPCA and ran over. Marcel is adjusting at lightning speed! His first night he stayed in the back of his crate, and shook for several minutes in each new setting. Now, as much as he loves his crate, he comes out to find me to play fetch!”
Roxy (formerly known as Katja)
Adopter: Nicole A.
“My husband and I have been looking for a dog for a little while now, and when we came across Roxy’s picture online we instantly fell in love. At that moment, we rushed down to the ASPCA and set up a meet and greet with Roxy. She was everything we hoped for and more. Roxy has a great personality, loves to play, and is already our best friend. She is definitely at home and is learning more and more each day. We are so excited to have her be a part of our family.”
Hailey (formerly known as Anja)
Adopter: Brittney H.
“I saw Hailey’s picture on Petfinder and fell in love instantly! She is doing excellent! Hailey has an older dog sister named Lola, and they love to play and snuggle together. She does have major separation anxiety, which is completely understandable, but we are working on breaking her out of that. Otherwise, she is doing awesome! I love her!”
Coco (formerly known as Silke)
Adopter: Maria G.
“I was looking at the ASPCA website on a Friday evening, saw all the puppies and dogs for adoption, and decided to come down to the Adoption Center that Saturday morning. I came to the ASPCA with my daughter, and we both decided that Silke was the one for us. She has her own room, and she has brought joy and happiness to us both! Silke, whom we have renamed Coco Chanel, has adjusted very well. She's my little superstar. We love and adore her.”