They live chained up or in a tiny cage. They don’t get the veterinary care they need. They die in the ring or are unceremoniously shot for losing. Some are used as “bait” for other dogs. Some have litter after litter. Some starve. Some go without water for days.
Odds are that dog fighting is happening in your state right now. We need your help to stop it. Give dog fighting victims three minutes of your time?
1. Ask your U.S. representative to support the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act.
The Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on January 23, would make it a federal offense to knowingly attend an organized animal fight and would impose additional penalties for bringing children to animal fights. Violators would face up to one year in prison for attending a fight, and up to three years in prison for bringing a minor to a fight.
You can help the bill along by contacting your rep. We’ve made it easy at the ASPCA Advocacy Center, and we promise it only takes a few minutes, tops.
2. Download our new anti-dog fighting toolkit for citizen advocates.
If you’re as horrified by dog fighting as we are, and you think you might want to commit more time to stopping dog fighting in the near future, download our new toolkit developed with the U.S. Department of Justice. It’s got everything you need to know to get more involved. (We admit, actually reading it will take more than three minutes, but you get the idea.)
3. Fight Pit Bull prejudice via social media.
Pit Bulls and dogs who look like Pit Bulls get a bad rap because of their reputation as fighting dogs. Fight it by becoming a tireless advocate for them on your social networks. Start by posting the profile of a cute, adoptable Pit Bull-type dog on Facebook (we suggest Pet of the Week Champion) or sharing a happy tail about a Pit.
You can even share the story of a rehabilitated ex-fighting dog, like Ninja.
Oh, and of course, a bonus fourth thing you can do: Share this post on your social networks.
Here at the ASPCA we often chat about how two cats are better than one. However, for a solo kitty who is accustomed to being king or queen of your castle, er, house, introducing a new feline friend to your home can be a bit stressful.
If you decide to bring a second cat into your home, proceed slowly and with patience. It takes most cats 8 to 12 months to develop a friendship with a new cat. By following these three steps, you can make sure that the transition goes smoothly:
Making the introduction: Allow the cats to smell and hear each other, without any visual or physical contact just yet. Give each cat his or her own food and water bowl, litter box, scratching post, and bed on separate sides of a door in your home. After a few days, switch the cats’ locations so they can check out each other’s scents. Try playing with the cats near the door. They might even reach under the door to play “paws” with each other!
Seeing eye-to-eye: After a week or so, assuming neither cat has shown signs of aggression (hissing, growling, etc.), let the cats meet each other face-to-face. You might want to put a baby gate or screen door between them. Set each cat down a few feet away from the barrier. When the cats notice each other, call out their names and toss them some tasty treats. Over the next few days, continue to offer treats, meals and playtime close to the barrier.
Together at last:Supervise your cats’ initial interactions very carefully. Allow them to spend time together when things are low-stress, such as after strenuous play. Keep a spray bottle on hand in case they begin to fight. As the cats become more familiar with each other, allow them to gradually spend more and more time together.
When Jessica Lovelace-Chandler visited the ASPCA Adoption Center in Manhattan for the first time, she was nervous but hopeful that she’d find a cat who could be a companion to her older, resident cat named Winston. Our staff led Jessica to meet some friendly felines who would be great candidates for cat companionship. That’s where Jessica met Francine, a sweet kitty who had been the victim of a hoarding situation.
“When I met Francine, she was very nervous and hiding out, but she still managed to let me pet her head,” Jessica says. “She was so soft and cute, and I had sympathy for her story and background. I could tell she would be shy at first but was very much looking for love, which has proven to be true!”
Once in Jessica’s home, Francine was still pretty shy. She didn’t eat much at all and seemed uninterested in human affection.
“I knew things would take time, and I knew how to handle the situation thanks to the wonderful coaching I received at the Adoption Center,” Jessica says.
With patience, loving care, and some time alone spent in Jessica’s bathroom, Francine seemed ready to come out of her shell and join her new crew. And, while Winston wasn’t sure what to think of Francine at first, he is coming around as well.
“Winston hissed viciously every time he walked by Francine’s door and at the slightest reminder that she was in the house,” Jessica says. “Francine handled it all like a champ, which made me particularly glad the adoption center had suggested her as a cat-friendly cat. I'm pleased to say…that they are able to be in the same room now and get along. They're not best friends yet, but they tolerate each other. I'm sure as time goes on, they'll continue to grow with love—or at least, acceptance.”
We feel sure these three amigos will enjoy a long-lasting friendship.
We have to admit we were a bit surprised when we heard about Charlie Sheen’s generosity to a Wisconsin teen coping with severe injuries.
Last week, the Associated Press reported, the actor wired 15-year-old Teagan Marti $10,000 to help her family pay for a Golden Retriever puppy that will be specially trained to help her with her specific needs.
Marti sustained multiple injuries in 2010 in a 100-foot fall from an amusement park ride in Wisconsin. She spent months in hospitals undergoing physical therapy to regain some use of her arms and legs.
Of course, Marti chose to name her new pooch Charlie.
We’re wondering: Does this affect your opinion of Charlie Sheen?
Though Hurricane Sandy seems like a long time ago to many of us, many of those who lost everything to the storm are still just beginning to piece their lives back together. At the ASPCA, we’re still working with animal welfare groups and individuals who suffered as a result of Sandy, and less than a month has passed since our special facility for Sandy pets closed.
Since then , we’ve seen many Sandy strays find new homes and hundreds of Sandy pets reunited with their families. (To see some of those, visit our Facebook album of reunion photos.)
If we could tell you all their stories, we could, because if you give to the ASPCA you’re responsible in part for each one. For now, we’d like to tell you one—Magnus and Aheber’s. Please watch their video to see how you helped them.
Thank you for giving to the ASPCA and helping us help animals like Magnus. If you’re not already a member, please consider making a gift now. You’ll help us be prepared to go wherever animals need us, whenever they need us.