Guest blog by Andrew Binovi, ASPCA Federal Legislative Manager
With all the political gridlock in Washington D.C., it seems that Congress has nearly ground to a complete halt. So it was very exciting late yesterday when the U.S. Senate considered two important measures to help animals in need!
First, the Senate took up the cause of canine heroes who have served in our military and passed a provision that streamlines the adoption process for retired military dogs and authorizes the Department of Defense to provide veterinary care in the animals’ retirement without any cost to American taxpayers. Military dogs perform dangerous, critical tasks, and it is our duty to honor these dogs and ensure they are cared for after their service is complete. The House passed similar language in their version of the military bill earlier this year.
Then, just moments later, the Senate passed the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act by a unanimous voice vote. This bill, introduced by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), along with Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Scott Brown (R-MA), will give law enforcement additional tools to crack down on animal fighting. The legislation will make it a federal offense to attend an organized animal fight and will impose additional penalties for taking minors to animal fights.
Take Action! We are encouraged that in the twilight hours of this Congress, animals in need have not been forgotten by federal lawmakers. Our team has been working around the clock with members of Congress to ensure passage of both bills, but we still need your help. Please call your representative and ask him or her to support the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act in the House. Animals victimized in this grisly blood sport are in desperate need—and they are counting on us to get the job done!
If you were separated from your pet during Hurricane Sandy, there is a chance your dog or cat is under the care of the ASPCA at our Emergency Boarding Facility in Brooklyn. We’ve partnered with Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C) to help pets displaced by Hurricane Sandy find their homes. Please check the lost dog database and lost cat database for photos and details about each animal at the shelter. Additional pets are listed in the AC&C Found Pets Database.
Got a sec? We could really use your help. This week, we launched a new holiday video focusing on puppy mills and why you should never, ever shop at a pet store that sells puppies. You see, most pet store puppies come from puppy mills—you know, those large-scale breeding operations where dogs live in horrible conditions and never receive love. Well, every time you buy anything from a pet store that sells puppies, you’re actually supporting this very cruel industry.
We think our video has a really great message and we’d love for it to go viral. That’s where you come in. After you watch our “Puppies Are Not Toys” video, please share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter, and kindly ask them to share it, too. Be sure to use the hashtag #NotAToy. We’re counting on your help to reach millions of people with this important message.
Are you ready to put on your stocking cap and take part in a little holiday trivia game? Join our #SantaPaws Holiday Trivia Twitter Party & Giveaway! Along with co-hosts Pet360 and Dogster, we’ll test your holiday knowledge…We’re talking reindeer and mistletoe, here!
Plus, we’ll give away treat-filled holiday stockings every FIVE minutes—and one grand prize winner will receive a sparkling diamond paw pendant by Zales Jewelers! Need a little more icing on the cake? All party guests will receive a secret coupon code for 25% off to use at the ASPCA Online Store.
Pour yourself some eggnog, get comfy on the couch and tune in to Twitter from 7:00 to 8:00 P.M. (ET) on December 12! Don't forget to use the hashtag #SantaPaws!
The ASPCA is on the ground today in cities across the country to celebrate with the winners of the 2012 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge and deliver some mighty big checks.
The $100K Challenge is our annual, three-month-long shelter contest to come up with new ways to get more homeless cats and dogs into loving homes. And get them into homes they did! In total, this year’s 50 contestants saved a whopping 56,232 animals’ lives.