We are thrilled to announce the recipients of the 2012 ASPCA Humane Awards. This group of outstanding people and animals includes a rescue dog with more than 5.5 million views on YouTube and a 10-year-old horse advocate who has appeared before Congress.
The 2012 ASPCA Humane Award winners include:
ASPCA Dog of the Year Abandoned in a trash heap, Fiona, an 11-year-old Poodle mix, was sick, covered in dirt, matted, infested with fleas and blind in both eyes. A Los Angeles-based animal rescue group Hope for Paws, came to Fiona’s aid, and with the help of hundreds of donors all over the world, they raised the funds for Fiona’s surgery. Fiona’s miraculous story of survival has since garnered more than 5.5 million views online, a testament to what can be accomplished when homeless animals get a second chance.
ASPCA Cat of the Year Scooter the cat was found on the street with no use of his back legs. He was rushed to Harts Run Veterinary Hospital in Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania. Visitors to the hospital instantly fell in love with the fluffy black and white kitten, and donated funds to purchase him a custom-made wheeled mobility device. Scooter now visits a nursing home and rehabilitation hospital every week and serves as a constant inspiration to the elderly and to patients who lack mobility due to injuries and strokes.
ASPCA "Tommy P. Monahan" Kid of the Year After hearing about the inhumane and cruel practice of horse slaughter, now 10-year-old Declan Gregg of Greenland, New Hampshire, decided to raise his voice and get involved. Declan started his own blog, Children 4 Horses, to spread the word about horse advocacy issues. His dedication to horse advocacy brought him to the nation’s capital twice in recent months, where he represented more than 1,000 children from the U.S. and abroad by presenting the letters to legislators in Congress.
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.