Guest blog post from Jessica Johnson, Grassroots Advocacy Manager for ASPCA Government Relations.
North Dakota is one of only two states that still classify even the most malicious acts of animal cruelty as weak misdemeanors. For years the state legislature has refused to take action, so the citizens of North Dakota took the matter into their own hands and gathered more than 25,000 signatures—almost double the amount needed—to put Measure 5 on the ballot this Election Day.
I want nothing more than to see Measure 5 passed into law by North Dakota’s voters on November 6—that’s why I’m digging my winter boots and sweaters out of the closet and heading to Bismarck to work on the YES! on Measure 5 campaign!
Please call, email, and text your friends and family in North Dakota and ask them to vote YES! on Measure 5. And if you or someone you know are in North Dakota and want to join me and other volunteers in our efforts to get out the YES! on Measure 5 vote, please email me at [email protected]. Let’s do this for the animals!
Have you heard the myth that black cats are unsafe in October, in part because witches may try to adopt them for rituals? We sure have. But guess what? Top ASPCA experts agree that it’s just not true.
At the ASPCA, we LOVE black kitties. (Some of our friendliest cats, like Marissa, are black—yet Marissa has waited more than nine months to find a family. What’s up with that?)
Aside from the most important reason to adopt black kitties—that they really need extra help finding homes—here are a few reasons to take home one or two:
Their fur won’t show on your little black dress.
You can tell your kids you adopted a mini panther.
Black cats go with everything.
In most cultures, black cats are a sign of good luck.
You already know black cats are awesome—you have one at home! If you’ve got a great black kitty, tell us about him or her in the comments. You just might persuade someone else to give these felines a little extra attention.
It’s a classic “love at first sight” story—while browsing Facebook, Aurora Bergmann saw a post featuring Berry, a special pit bull terrier in need of a home at the ASPCA Adoption Center in New York City. Bergmann felt Berry’s picture was posted just for her. According to the post, Berry would thrive with lots of room to roam and a canine companion—two things Bergmann had plenty of.
A country life with Bergmann’s family—including their four dogs—seemed like a perfect fit. The Bergmanns had adopted and rescued three of their four dogs, and when they visited the ASPCA Adoption Center in New York City for the first time in October, they were on a mission to meet Berry and take her home.
“It gives us joy to be able to help a dog,” Bergmann says.
It was immediately clear that Berry was happy to be home—and she quickly became comfortable in the family’s fur-filled household.
“When we come home, she wags her tail and gives us kisses,” Bergman says. Berry loves spending her time romping around outside on the Bergmann’s land, and is coming around to spending time inside the house, too.
She plays with the four other dogs, but is especially chummy with a pit bull mix. Bergmann’s son rescued a sweet pit who had been abandoned by the side of a highway in New Jersey, and it warmed the family to the pit bull breed.
“Now we realize what wonderful dogs they are,” Bergmann says.
We couldn’t agree more. We think Berry is one lucky pooch!
Some dogs are naturally inclined to dig, and though it is perfectly normal behavior most of the time, it can be troublesome for pet parents who don’t particularly care for holes in their yard and furniture.
So why do they do it? Dogs often dig at the ground and circle before lying down, as though they’re trying to make a softer resting place. Dogs also dig when trying to get warm or stay cool, to entertain themselves, to bury valued items, and when hunting ground-dwelling animals.
What to Do If Your Dog Digs
• If Your Dog Digs to Keep Cool or Get Comfortable
Dogs living outside in very hot or cold weather often dig holes to sleep in, especially if they don’t have access to proper shelter, like an insulated doghouse. Even with a suitable doghouse, some dogs prefer to retreat under a deck and dig a big hole.
• If Your Dog Digs to Entertain Herself
Many dogs dig for the fun of it. This type of digging is the hardest to treat because the action of digging is rewarding in and of itself. To achieve success, rather than attempting to eliminate the behavior, try to redirect your dog’s digging to an acceptable place.
• If Your Dog Digs to Bury Her Stuff
The best way to eliminate this type of digging is to refrain from giving your dog treats, food or chew bones that she will not finish immediately. Alternatively, you can build your dog a digging pit and encourage her to bury items there, instead of in your favorite flower bed.
• If Your Dog Digs to Hunt Small Animals
Most dogs love to chase small, fast-moving furry creatures, even if they never actually try to catch them. If your dog digs to pursue small animals like moles, chipmunks and ground squirrels, you can set live traps and humanely remove those animals from your property.
Fall marks the time of year when trees begin to drop their fruit and leaves. In general, this is a good thing, right? But pet parents should be aware that certain tree fruits can be deadly to dogs.
One fruit in particular–the Chinaberry tree (Latin Melia)—is valued for its high quality lumber. Native to Asia, this tree was introduced in the United States around 1830 as an ornamental, but today has become invasive in many areas. As the tree’s marble-sized fruits mature and drop to the ground, dogs sometimes eat and play with them. Natural, poisonous molecules in the fruit can cause severe digestive upset in dogs, often with stomach cramping, bloody vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Seizures can occur in more serious cases, and death can result. We see this problem in dogs every autumn across the United States.
And horse lovers, we need to isolate our noble friends from red maple (L. Acer rubrum) trees. As red maple leaves begin to change colors and wilt, a deadly poison begins to develop. If eaten by a horse, the leaf can cause severe illness and even death. The poison in the wilted leaf has not yet been identified, but it makes its way into the bloodstream where it attacks red blood cells. Once enough destruction of red blood cells has occurred, a horse cannot get enough oxygen to the brain and other vital tissues. Poisoned horses can die if not treated in time by a veterinarian.