Missouri may soon have to give up its nickname as the "Puppy Mill Capital of America." The landmark ballot initiative to put the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act before Missouri voters and crack down on the state's widespread and inhumane breeding practices has succeeded! The petition required 130,000 signatures of support, and we're happy to report that on May 2, our supporters delivered more than 190,000 signatures to the Secretary of State's office to qualify the legislation for the November 2010 ballot.
"This can only be considered a massive outpouring of public support for the idea of puppy mill reform," said Barbara Schmitz, campaign manager of Missourians for the Protection of Dogs, a coalition made up of the ASPCA, the Humane Society of the U.S., the Humane Society of Missouri and the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation. "We ran into few people who were unaware of the problem, and so many of them are enthused about voting to halt this cruelty in the November election."
Election officials have until August 3 to determine whether the measure qualifies for the ballot. The Missouri Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act will substantially improve the lives of dogs by requiring large-scale breeding operations to provide sufficient food and clean water, necessary veterinary care, adequate housing, space and exercise. To follow the proposed legislation's progress, please visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center. Thank you, Missouri voters, for your support!
After two days of intense thunderstorms that brought devastating floods to the city of Nashville, TN, and the need for evacuations across multiple states, members of the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team are on the scene at the request of the Dyersburg-Dyer County Humane Society. The ASPCA landed in Tennessee on Tuesday night to help local groups care for animals displaced by the floods. In addition to bringing much-needed sheltering supplies, the ASPCA is prepared to provide a water rescue team and other resources to assist with the recovery efforts as needed.
The ASPCA's joel lopez, left, and Tiptonville, Tenn. Animal Control Officer Chandra Davis washing a rooster outside the Dyersburg-Dyer County Humane Society, where the ASPCA has established a temporary shelter and decontamination station for animals impacted by recent flooding.
We will post updates as we receive them—please check our blog for the latest news.
As the recent Gulf oil spill threatens several coastal states, the ASPCA has dispatched Kathryn Destreza, Southeast Regional Director, Field Investigations and Response, to help local animal shelters prepare for a response. Destreza is on the ground in Plaquemines Parish, LA, working with representatives from the Louisiana State Animal Response Team (LSART), local shelters and federal and state agencies to assess animal rescue needs in the area. The ASPCA is also in communication with officials from Mississippi and Florida to monitor the needs of the entire Gulf Coast region.
Stay tuned to ASPCA.org for developing news on this national disaster.
On Wednesday, April 14, the New Hampshire State Senate voted nearly unanimously to pass the Greyhound Protection Act (House Bill 630) to permanently ban the racing of Greyhounds in the Granite State. The bill had already passed the state’s House of Representatives in March, so it now goes to Governor John Lynch, who is expected to sign it into state law.
Thanks for this legislative victory are due in part to the New Hampshire-based members of the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, who sent 267 emails to their state senators urging support for the act, and to Senator Sheila Roberge, who took the Senate floor to tell the tragic story of Amber, a Greyhound who lost her life in a violent track accident. Amber was one of nearly 1,200 dogs injured while racing in New Hampshire between 2005 and 2008—these injuries included broken legs, paralysis, cardiac arrest and head trauma.
The ASPCA opposes dog racing, which is an inherently cruel form of entertainment. Racing dogs are confined for 20 hours or more a day in small cages, often wearing muzzles; they are bred excessively in the quest for good runners, with the “excess” puppies killed or otherwise discarded; they suffer from inhumane transportation as they’re shuttled from state to state for racing purposes; and they regularly endure serious and fatal injuries.
The nine states that have banned dog racing are: Maine (1993), Virginia (1995), Vermont (1995), Idaho (1996), Washington (1996), Nevada (1997), North Carolina (1998), Pennsylvania (2004) and Massachusetts (2008, effective 2010). For more information about the plight of racing Greyhounds, please visit ASPCA.org/dogracing.
Today is Earth Day! There are plenty of ways to show the planet some love with eco-friendly pet parenting. Just like us, our beloved animal companions love to eat and play—but they haven’t yet mastered the art of recycling or composting. Here are some simple steps you can take to reduce your pet’s carbon paw print.
Tap is where it’s at! Give your pet filtered tap water instead of bottled to drink. If you must use bottled water, be sure to recycle the bottle.
Scoop the poop with biodegradable bags instead of plastic bags. Kitty parents, go for eco-friendly cat litters, avoiding brands containing mined minerals.
Don’t reach for the bleach to clean your pet’s messes. Use vinegar instead—it’s green, removes odors and kills bacteria.
Get Moving! Walk your dog to the doggie park rather than driving there.
Buy pet supplies in bulk or the largest available size. You’ll make fewer trips to the store and cut down on discarded packaging.
It’s the little things that count and add up to big savings for you, your pet and Mother Earth. For more ways to celebrate Earth Day with your pet, check out our guide to living green with cats and dogs.
Action Tip: Reuse and recycle by contacting your local shelter reps and asking if they need extra towels, bedding, leashes, litter boxes, pet toys or other gently used items that you plan to throw away.