Last week, the Internet exploded over a widely shared video of a New Mexico man, Tim Sappington, shooting a seemingly healthy, young horse between the eyes while cursing out “animal activists.” The video is horrifying, and Sappington is under investigation by the New Mexico Livestock Board for animal cruelty.
Sappington worked for the Valley Meat Company in Roswell, New Mexico—the same slaughterhouse that has an application pending with the USDA for permission to slaughter horses for human consumption.
While we mourn Sappington’s victim, this callous fan of horse meat may have actually helped our mission more than he harmed it by exposing horse slaughter for what it is: cold and cruel. The video generated a firestorm of public and media criticism about the ongoing efforts to reopen horse slaughter plants in the U.S., as well as interest in the related legislative efforts to prevent it.
Mother Nature wasn’t on our side when she sent a deadly blizzard to hammer Kansas and Missouri earlier this week. The heavy snow snapped tree branches and left more than 100,000 Midwesterners without power. At least two deaths were blamed on the off-season storm.
“The weather certainly wasn’t ideal, but we weren’t about to give up on these dogs,” reports Tim Rickey, Vice President of the ASPCA Field Investigations & Response team. “It’s our job to provide these animals with the best possible care, and our responders are trained to handle obstacles as they arise.”
The dogs were rescued after search warrants were executed by the FBI in Kansas,Missouri and Texas. The animals were found outside in freezing temperatures.
For more information about this unfolding case, please stay tuned to aspcarescue.org.
We’re still on the ground helping care for the canine victims rescued during a multi-state dog fighting bust that occurred in Texas, Kansas and Missouri. The ASPCA Field Investigations & Response team managed the removal and transport of nearly 100 dogs on Saturday and Sunday, during a spring snowstorm that made the rescue even more difficult for both the victims and responders.
What happens during a large-scale raid like the one that went down this weekend? Read Anatomy of a Raid for all the details. And stay tuned to aspcarescue.org for more information and photos from this unfolding case.
Last year the historic Homeless Animal Prevention and Care Fund was created by the Massachusetts Legislature. When you file your 2012 taxes this spring, Bay Staters, you’ll have your first chance to donate to this Fund!
Contributions to the Homeless Animal Prevention and Care Fund help shelters and animal control facilities provide services such as spaying, neutering and vaccinations. The Fund also assists Massachusetts families who are facing challenges meeting the cost of these essential services and provides training for animal control officers.
Donating is easy! All you have to do write the dollar amount of your donation on Line 32f of your Massachusetts state tax return:
Not only will your contribution assist homeless dogs and cats, it will also help ease costs borne by your shelter and local government for housing and sheltering these animals. This frees up dollars to put toward other animal programs, like adoption initiatives and veterinary care. So don’t forget to give yourself a reason to smile this tax season!
It’s about time. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced its intention to ban the slaughter of veal calves who are too sick, injured or weak to stand.
Many experts believe “downer” adult cattle are at higher risk of having Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease. For that reason, the USDA has already banned the slaughter of adult downer cattle, requiring that they be promptly and humanely euthanized. However, downercalves may be kept alive indefinitely in slaughter facility pens, leaving them vulnerable to cruel mistreatment.
“This decision should close a loophole that has allowed sick calves to be roughly handled, neglected and left to suffer,” says Suzanne McMillan, ASPCA Director of Farm Animal Welfare.“We hope the agency will enact these changes quickly to protect calves and consumers.”
Nearly 700,000 veal calves are slaughtered annually in the U.S.—many are under three weeks of age.
While the USDA has committed to changing its policy on downer calf slaughter, the agency still needs to issue a new rule to formalize the change and put it into effect.
Take Action! Please tell the USDA to prioritize protecting calves from cruelty. Email U.S. Agriculture Secretary Vilsack and Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) Administrator Almanza today and urge them to change regulations on downer calves immediately.