Guest blog by Nancy Perry, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Government Relations
Horses have been central to the ASPCA’s work since our founding in 1866. Trying to help horses through congressional action often demands patience and persistence, and the interests of animals are not always at the forefront in Congress—but tomorrow is the exception.
We worked closely with the House Appropriations Committee to secure a vote to accept the Moran-Young Amendment to prevent horse slaughterhouses from opening on U.S. soil. Tomorrow, it is the Senate’s turn, and our stalwart leaders, Senators Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), are offering the Landrieu-Graham Amendment to do exactly the same thing in the Senate Agriculture Appropriations bill—to prevent the flow of our tax dollars to the horse slaughter industry. You can help by checking to see if your U.S. senator sits on the Appropriations Committee and then taking action.
Prohibiting federal funding for horse slaughter facility inspections is a critical step toward ending the slaughter of American horses for human consumption. If the Landrieu-Graham Amendment is adopted by the Senate Appropriations committee, planned horse slaughterhouses will be prevented from opening on U.S. soil, and we will have that much more support and momentum for passing a full ban on horse slaughter and transport to slaughter.
Simultaneously, our leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives worked diligently this week to offer an amendment to the House Farm Bill that would ban horse slaughter for human consumption altogether by prohibiting the slaughter of horses here as well as transport for slaughter to other countries. Unfortunately, the House Rules Committee rejected that amendment late last night—but we will persevere and direct our full energy to the Landrieu-Graham Amendment in the Senate. And when we are able to bring the issue of a full horse slaughter ban to the House floor, we will be ready.
Hurricane season officially started June 1, and experts are predicting an extremely active Atlantic Hurricane Season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center anticipates that up to 20 named storms will hit the U.S. over the next five months, with more than half of them hurricanes!
That means pet parents in hurricane-prone areas should develop an emergency plan in advance to make sure the whole family—including its furriest members—stay safe.
Here are the ASPCA’s top six tips for hurricane season prep:
• Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster.
• Make sure all pets wear collars and ID tags with up-to-date identification—the ASPCA also recommends microchipping your pet as a more permanent form of I.D.
• Obtain a rescue alert sticker, which will let rescuers know that pets are inside your home. You’ll get these when you order a free ASPCA Pet Safety Pack.
• Keep a pet emergency kit and supplies handy with items such as medical records, water, pet food and medications, and pet First Aid supplies.
• Arrange a safe haven for your pets in the event of evacuation. Do not leave your pets behind.
• Choose a designated caregiver who can take care of your pet in the event you are unable to do so.
We hope you and your pets have a fun and safe summer!
Dig out your old hair crimper and throw on your faded flannel, we’re taking you back to the 1990s!
In honor of Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, the ASPCA is hosting a special celebrityTop Ten Video Catdown event. Reminiscent of MTV’s classic video countdown shows, our live stream event will feature adorable videos of kitties rescued by top celebrities—including Katy Perry and Good Morning America’s Dan Harris.
The event will take place on Tuesday, June 25 at 7:00 P.M. EDT, and viewers can tune in at www.ustream.tv/aspca. There will also be a trivia Twitter party happening along with the live stream. The party will feature questions about famous cats in pop culture, with giveaway prizes every six minutes! One grand prize winner will receive a year’s supply of Fresh Step cat litter, and a second grand prize winner will receive an ASPCA diamond pendant from Zales! Naturally, the hashtag will be #CatDown, so be sure to follow along on Twitter.
The story of how Betsy M. came to be the guardian of three Dachshunds and the story of how she met her husband, Jamie, are intertwined. It all began in the early 1980s when Betsy decided to adopt two Dachshund puppies from a coworker. She named them Schatzie and Schmoozie. After one of the pups came over and rested his paw on her knee, she was easily persuaded to take not one, but two of the dogs home to her New York City apartment.
One day, while Betsy and her mother were walking along Second Avenue with Schatzie and Schmoozie, a man driving by stopped and said he had just seen a larger Dachshund at the ASPCA Adoption Center with the same coloring as the puppies and suggested Betsy go see her. After calling the ASPCA to inquire about the dog, Betsy scraped together all the money she had and set out to adopt her. She decided to keep her original name, Annie.
The first few days with Annie were rough. Betsy stayed home from work to monitor the introductions, and Annie got in spats with both Schatzie and Schmoozie. After a few days, Betsy had no choice but to return to work, and she feared what she might find when she returned home that evening. To her surprise, all three dogs were snuggled up together.
One evening soon after, Betsy was at a party when she met a British man named Jamie. After hearing about her furry friends, Jamie invited Betsy to tea at his apartment, and suggested she bring her dogs. She decided to take Annie along, and upon entering Jamie’s apartment, Annie made herself right at home on Jamie’s couch. Betsy and Jamie married a year later in 1983, and Betsy says she feels sure that Annie played a significant role in bringing the two together.
Decades have passed, and Betsy and Jamie are still together. Furry friends have come and gone from their lives since those first three Dachshunds, but Betsy is still thankful for Schatzie, Schmoozie and Annie. She says having the dogs changed her life.
The ASPCA is assisting in the forensic evidence collection, removal, transport and sheltering of more than 60 fighting roosters from a property in Spencer, Indiana. Other animals including dogs and farm animals were also seized from the property. We’re assisting at the request of the Indiana Gaming Commission, the Gaming Control Division and the Monroe County Humane Association.
At the property this morning, responders discovered rooster remains and roosters showing signs of starvation and other conditions requiring medical attention. The roosters were housed in outdoor pens or tethered outside with no access to water.
The animals were transferred to a temporary shelter where they will receive veterinary care from the ASPCA’s medical team. ASPCA veterinary technicians, animal handlers and responders are also assisting on the scene and at the temporary shelter.
A search warrant, issued by Owen County Circuit Court, was executed Wednesday morning for the removal of the birds, as was an arrest warrant for Jeffrey Russell Pierce, 26. Pierce was arrested on charges of possession of fighting animals, promoting an animal fighting contest and possession of animal fighting paraphernalia.
In Indiana, cockfighting and the possession of birds for fighting are Class D felonies, each punishable by up to three years in a state prison and a maximum $10,000 fine. Possession of implements is a Class B misdemeanor with up to 180 days in a state jail and a maximum $1,000 fine.
The ASPCA is also assisting the Indiana Gaming Control Division in documenting animal related evidence for the criminal case and lending the services of its Field Investigations and Response and Veterinary Forensics teams. The Indiana State Police, the Indiana Board of Animal Health and the Owen County Prosecutor are also assisting in the operation.
“Cockfighting is a brutal blood sport where the unwilling participants—the roosters—are forced to fight, often to the death, for the entertainment and financial gain of their owners,” says Terry Mills, Director of Blood Sports for the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team. “The ASPCA is proud to lend our expertise in animal fighting and forensic evidence collection to local authorities to help put an end to this disturbing activity and secure justice for the animal victims.”