We’re at it again! The ASPCA Forensics Team is currently on the ground in Alachua County, Florida collecting forensic evidence of nearly 700 cats found living in deplorable conditions at the Haven Acres Cat ‘Sanctuary’. The animals were rescued as the result of an ongoing investigation led by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Alachua County Animal Services.
Found living in filthy wire pens throughout the eight-acre property, responders say many of the cats are underweight and appear to be suffering from upper respiratory infections and parasites. The animals are being transferred to an emergency shelter where they will be examined by veterinarians and receive critical medical care.
Evidence Collection The ASPCA Forensics Team is playing a vital role in the criminal investigation—mapping the cats’ locations, assisting veterinarians in documenting wounds and overall body conditions, and removing deceased cats for necropsies. Also on scene is the ASPCA’s fully equipped Mobile Animal Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) unit, outfitted with state-of-the-art forensics tools.
“This is the kind of thing that local animal organizations dread getting involved in, because we just don't have the resources, says David R. Flagler, Director of Alachua County Animal Services. “But when we work with national organizations like the ASPCA, you make it a lot easier."
The HSUS and United Animal Nations will continue to provide ongoing care for the animals until their custody is decided in an upcoming disposition hearing.
From shutting down puppy mills to responding to natural disasters—the ASPCA is on the ground fighting cruelty every day. Check out some of our recent deployments!
Every single day people arrive to view the hundreds of rescued and displaced animals being cared for at the ASPCA Emergency Shelter in Joplin, Missouri. For nearly 400 families—many of whom lost everything in the May 22 tornado—those visits have led to heartfelt reunions. But for others, it takes hope and a little patience.
With animals being rescued each day, many families return regularly in hopes of finding their beloved pets. One such family was the Freys. The Freys suffered broken bones and bruised spirits, but survived the tornado that demolished their home. But as the dust settled, their cat, Baby Girl, was nowhere to be found.
Reunion Meanwhile, ASPCA responders began a program to rescue animals in the tornado zone at night. A few nights in, our team found a large calico cat with a sweet face. The next afternoon, as usual, the Freys visited the shelter.
“I saw her and it was instant—I knew it was her,” says Mrs. Frey.
Baby Girl is going home just as the Freys move into their new house. “We’re just so happy to have her back," Mrs. Frey tells. "Without you guys, we would not have known where to even start looking for her—thank you for taking care of our baby."
Learn more about our efforts in Joplin. And please help us continue to support the animal victims of Joplin. Text PLEDGE to 25383 to donate $10 today!
We are happy to report that the month of May ended on a positive note for animal advocates! On the 31st, a major victory was scored for horses in a critical committee vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.
With surveys showing that a large majority of the American public opposes horse slaughter, the government decided to stop funding horse-meat inspections several years ago. As a result, there are no longer any slaughterhouses in the United States that process horses into meat for human consumption. However, the U.S. House is currently working on the federal budget for Fiscal Year 2012, and to our surprise, the Agriculture Appropriations bill did not include a horse slaughter defunding measure.
If the Agriculture Appropriations bill were to pass without this defunding language, our tax dollars could once again be used to enable the killing of horses for their meat.
Thank You ASPCA Advocacy Brigade! Thankfully, Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia offered an amendment to the bill to defund horse slaughter inspections, and the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade sprang into action, calling their representatives on the House Appropriations Committee in support of the amendment. The Moran Amendment passed last Wednesday afternoon by a bipartisan vote of 24-21. We now have to make sure that the amendment remains in the final version of the bill that gets passed by the full House of Representatives.
If you want to help the ASPCA achieve victories for our nation’s animals, please join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade and we’ll email you when we need your voice!
For years the ASPCA has worked hard to protect American horses from terrifying, inhumane deaths at slaughterhouses. In 2007, the last three U.S. slaughterhouses processing horses into meat for human consumption were shut down for good—the year prior, they were responsible for killing more than 90,000 horses. Because Americans do not eat horses, this meat was shipped overseas to countries like France, Belgium and Japan, where it is considered a delicacy.
Not a Humane Alternative Horse slaughter is NOT humane euthanasia. Horses suffer horribly on the way to and during slaughter—it is not unusual for them to travel more than 24 hours at a time in cramped conditions without food, water or rest. The methods used to kill horses rarely result in quick deaths: The animals often endure repeated stuns or blows, and sometimes remain conscious during their slaughter.
Some well-meaning animal advocates feel it would be more humane to reopen horse slaughterhouses in the U.S. than to continue to allow the animals to be sent to Mexico and Canada for processing. They may be surprised to learn that even when there were horse slaughter facilities in the U.S., tens of thousands of American horses were still exported and slaughtered in other countries every year. Re-opening slaughterhouses here is not the answer to ending this cruelty.
Take Action! The ASPCA advocates for a federal ban on the international transport of horses intended for human consumption. Over the last few years, different bills that would have achieved this have been introduced in Congress—and even though each has had strong bipartisan support, none have made it over the finish line. Until such a law passes—and we have no doubt one will—it is critical we don’t allow the horse slaughter industry to gain a foothold in the United States. Once it is here, it will be much more difficult to get rid of.
Please join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade to be alerted when legislation on horse slaughter is introduced. And to learn more about alternatives to slaughter, visit our Equine Cruelty section.
In the wake of the devastating storm that demolished much of the community of Joplin, the ASPCA has awarded a $100,000 grant to the Joplin Humane Society to support its disaster relief and recovery efforts. The grant was presented in memory of Joplin Humane Society Executive Director Karen Aquino’s step-daughter, Rachel Markham, who perished in the disaster.
“Our thoughts are with Karen and all the people of Joplin who lost loved ones to this tragedy,” says Joplin native Tim Rickey, ASPCA Senior Director of Field Investigations and Response. “The Joplin Humane Society is doing amazing work helping animals affected by the disaster, and we wanted to further support the organization with this grant.
ASPCA on the Ground in Joplin On May 23, the ASPCA deployed to Missouri to lead emergency sheltering efforts of animals displaced by the tornado. Working closely with the Joplin Humane Society, nearly 850 animals have since been rescued—with more than 200 beloved pets being reunited with their families.
“My husband and I are humbled and touched by this gesture,” adds Aquino. “We are grateful to work with the ASPCA in our efforts to reunite pets with their families and help make them whole again.”
Please help us continue to support the animal victims of Joplin. Text PLEDGE to 25383 to donate $10 today!