Spring has sprung, and with the change of season, our thoughts inevitably turn to Easter celebrations, spring cleaning and much-needed home improvement projects. But the new balmy weather can prove not-so-sunny for curious pets—or their unwitting parents. Before you embark on seasonal chores or outdoor revelry, take inventory of potential springtime hazards for your delicate, furry friend. To help you out, our ASPCA experts have come up with a few seasonal tips that will help prevent mishaps or misfortunes.
Easter Treats and Decorations Keep Easter lilies and candy bunnies in check—chocolate goodies are toxic to cats, dogs and ferrets, and lilies can be fatal if ingested by our feline friends. While bunnies, chicks and other festive animals are adorable, resist the urge to buy—these cute babies grow up fast and often require specialized care!
Buckle Up! Dogs love good weather, too! But allowing them to ride in the beds of pick-up trucks or stick their heads out of car windows is downright dangerous. Abrupt stops or turns can cause major injury, or worse! Pets in cars should always be secured in a crate or wearing a seatbelt harness designed especially for them.
Home Improvement 101 Products such as paints, mineral spirits and solvents can be toxic to your pets and cause severe irritation or chemical burns. Carefully read all labels to see if the product is safe to use around your furry friends. It may be wise to confine your dog or cat to a designated pet-friendly room during home improvement projects.
Ah-Ah-Achoo! Like their sneezy human counterparts, pets can be allergic to dust, plants and pollens. Allergic reactions in dogs and cats can cause minor sniffling as well as life-threatening anaphylactic shock. If your pet suffers from a springtime allergy, please visit your veterinarian.
Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS), an ASPCA community partner, has launched an investigation into the recent deaths of three dogs at two different locations in the South Hill neighborhood of Spokane, WA.
On February 19, a woman reported to SCRAPS that she let her dogs outside at approximately 6:00 A.M., and when she went to feed her horses, saw one of the dogs eating something off the ground. She called her dog away from what was later identified as meatballs. Approximately 30 minutes later, the dog started having convulsions and was taken to an emergency clinic, where he died. Two other dogs were reported dead by another pet parent in the South Hill neighborhood on the same day.
Test results from Washington State University indicated that the meatballs were laced with strychnine, which was most likely from gopher bait or a gopher control pesticide. The gopher bait product was mixed with the meat and then cooked. This type of gopher bait product is a “restricted-use” pesticide in the state of Washington, but it is available for purchase at licensed pesticide dealers by those who are eligible.
“There are many ways an individual could have obtained this product, either legally or illegally,” said SCRAPS Lead Animal Protection Officer Nicole Montano, the primary officer investigating these crimes.
SCRAPS is urging everyone to help spread the word about the poisonings in Spokane, and is advising pet parents to keep a close eye on their furry friends and thoroughly inspect their yards and surrounding properties for foreign or toxic substances.
If anyone has any information related to these incidents, please call SCRAPS’s emergency line at (509) 477-2533. This level of cruelty can lead to a charge of animal cruelty in the first degree, a class C felony that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
We're putting our 2013 calendar together right now, and staffers and volunteers representing all 12 months of the year have been photographed with their furry friends. There's only one big decision left to make, and we’re leaving the answer up to you: Who should grace the calendar’s cover?
We've narrowed down the field to four contenders. Check out the photos that are in the running, read a little about their sweet four-legged subjects, and then cast your vote for our 2013 Cover Dog or Cat. The pet whose photo gets the most votes will have his or her face in homes all over America!
Moving to a new home may be one of the most stressful life events you’ll ever have to tackle. But in the chaos of cardboard boxes, packing tape and moving trucks, you might not realize how stressed your pets feel, too. We chatted with ASPCA Director of Anti-Cruelty Behavior Research Dr. Katherine Miller about ways to make the transition as safe and easy as possible for your furry friends.
Choosing a new ‘hood, house or apartment
Before you pick out your dream home, make sure your pet will love it just as much as you do. When it comes to square footage needs, cats and dogs differ. Older dogs, puppies and dogs with house training issues will need to go outside often, which might be difficult in an apartment building with lots of stairs or a house without a yard.
Packing up your stuff
Cats aren’t big fans of change. You can help your cats (and skittish dogs) adjust to the moving process by bringing in moving boxes early, and by keeping your furry friends in a familiar room you plan to pack up last. On moving day, keep your pets in a quiet room or at a friend’s house.
Planning your road trip
Many pets haven’t spent much time in crates or cars. In the weeks or months leading up to the big trip, you can prepare your pets by gradually acclimating them to their crates. First, place your pets’ food inside an open crate, and eventually have your pets eat meals in the crate with the door shut.
Settling into your new digs
When you arrive at your new home, it will be tempting to set your dog or cat loose to explore. But a new and unfamiliar space can be overwhelming to your pets. Start by allowing them to adjust to one room—their “home base”—which should include their favorite toys, treats, water and food bowls, and litter box for cats.
Hershey, before receiving treatment at the ASPCA Animal Hospital
Today the ASPCA arrested Queens resident Grimilda Amil for allegedly neglecting and starving her three-year-old male Yorkshire terrier, who has been recovering under our care for nearly two months.
Amil brought her Yorkie, Hershey, to an ASPCA Mobile/Spay Neuter Clinic on June 27. Alarmed at Hershey’s condition, Clinic staff called our Humane Law Enforcement Agents, who quickly responded.
Amil relinquished ownership of Hershey to the ASPCA, and Agents transported the tiny dog to the ASPCA Animal Hospital.
There, veterinarians determined Hershey— whom they found to be emaciated, anemic and suffering from pressure sores—had been starved. At that time, Hershey weighed just 5.2 pounds. Today he weighs in at 10.1 pounds, a 94% increase!
Hershey is completing his recovery in a caring ASPCA foster home. When he’s ready, he’ll be made available for adoption.
Amil, 55, was charged with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty. If convicted, she faces up to one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. She is due in Queens Criminal Court on October 4.
If you suspect you’ve witnessed animal cruelty, please don’t hesitate to report it.